ART | Fifties inspired prints on show at Left Bank Leeds

Artist KIRSTIE WILLIAMS (background) installing the exhibition at Left Bank. (Photo: Helen Tulloch)

A gorgeous new exhibition at Left Bank Leeds takes its lead from mid-century fabric designs, but with a contemporary edge. Artist KIRSTIE WILLIAMS talks to TOM CLAYTON.

How can something digital be retro?

Leeds artist Kirstie Williams’ latest exhibition at Left Bank Leeds addresses that question through modern abstract pieces which stem from her curiosity for ‘seeing what works.’

“I’m interested in translucent inks and exploring how colours blend and mix together to create new colours,” she says.

Pictures in an exhibition - A1 Mono Prints, Kirstie Williams (Photo: Helen Tulloch)
Pictures in an exhibition – A1 Mono Prints, Kirstie Williams (Photo: Helen Tulloch)

Visitors who chance through the doors of the former Methodist church will find themselves in the Porch Gallery filled by Williams with mesmerising, contrasting pieces.

The print-maker effortlessly combines the sort of textures and patterns which ordinarily would be at odds with one another. Up close the layers create something new which keeps the viewer’s gaze locked in.

“Sometimes I just explore printing layers of shape and pattern with a ‘see what happens’ kind of approach. Most of my work is abstract in its nature and takes inspiration from everyday shapes and objects.

Pictures in an exhibition - A1 Mono Prints, Kirstie Williams (Photo: Helen Tulloch)
A1 Mono Prints, Kirstie Williams (Photo: Helen Tulloch)

“I have developed some much larger screen prints for this exhibition. It’s been interesting to develop smaller pieces into larger work. I feel this has a much bigger impact when viewing the artwork.”

The artwork on display varies, from A4 to full sized A1 portraits, all of it available to buy with prices starting at just £35.

The artist admits that her love of classic design comes through in  the exhibition.

“I’m inspired by 1950s textiles and surface pattern and use simple geometric shapes, bold colours and interesting textures in my screen prints. For this work I used a variety of geometric shapes and everyday patterns and used them in a simplified way to experiment with layers of ink.”

Williams lectures in textiles at Shipley College and is one of the founders of Leeds Print Workshop at Vicar Lane, conceived as a welcoming space for print-makers to get creative.

In the New Year at Left Bank, Kirstie will be hosting workshops and showing people how she came to make her portraits for this exhibition, which runs until the end of January.

For details of the exhibition, including how to book a place on one of the workshops, click here

Visit Kirstie Williams’ website here

More ART on theCV here