Alfred Wallis Inspiration – ART MAKES YOU POWERFUL

In the final blog post for the exhibition ART MAKES YOU POWERFUL, Rowan student Francis explores how the work of Alfred Wallis has inspired him to develop his art practice.

Lydia from the Cambridge News came and met with Francis at Rowan – you can read her article here. 

14/10/15 40 Humberstone Road Cambridge re The Rowan Exhibition Francis Williams Picture:Richard Patterson

Picture: Richard Patterson

I first got into Alfred Wallis when I was doing my GCSE’s, and also from my holidays when I went to Cornwall and saw plenty of his paintings. I just like his simple style. It’s kid-like and it’s also like a diary because he was illiterate. He was a fisherman and then a rag-and-bone man. When he retired he started painting, and everything he painted was out of his memory.

I find his story inspiring and I just love his simple painting style of the scenery, and it shows someone who can do that and make it successful, like most people who are disabled and can’t paint fine detail properly. I had just come back from Cornwall feeling inspired so I decided to do a big painting to push myself and remember my holidays.

When people like my artwork it makes me feel proud and happy and confident- it gives a bit of confidence to carry on with the same idea. Its quite satisfying when you see your artwork finished and up on display.

Now I’m a volunteer at Rowan on Fridays, and making successful pieces of artwork has made me more confident helping other people with their artwork. I learn about different styles and new artists from helping other people. This inspires me to try different ways of doing things and new materials. That also gives me a challenge, especially if I haven’t used a material before.

I find art is a way of relaxing and interacting with other people, and group projects – Rowan’s got plenty here – like commissions bring everyone together, we each make something and it goes into the whole. It makes us feel proud as a group when something is shown or bought.