Rhiannon Williams

Contemporary Embroidery Artist

Rhiannon makes visual narratives through embroidery, exploring human relationships, and feelings of love, fear, belonging, betrayal and tragedy. She is inspired by the Celtic mythologies of her Welsh roots, in particular the collection of tales from ‘The Mabinogion’. These medieval fables were passed down through oral tradition, and include enchanting stories where people are turned into animals, and where love treads close to death and tragedy. 

Embroidery and textiles are imbued with connotations of homeliness and domesticity, and have emotive qualities relating to memories of people and comfort. In her work, Rhiannon channels the stories from her own life into textile narratives, pulling on the themes and styles of the medieval cyfarwydd (‘storyteller’). She is interested in the connection people have with animals, and the way we find comfort in their company, often using animals as metaphors and as a way of representing emotions. Using embroidery techniques, Rhiannon stitches together the stories of her own life, depicting the stillness of an emotion in a moment in time. 

Rhiannon embroiders with a free-hand Irish sewing machine, a specialist technique with a machine that ceased production in the 1950s; A skill she developed during her MA at the Royal College of Art where she graduated in 2014. 

 

Selected Exhibitions

Hiraeth, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Dec 2017- Jan 2018
A Darker Thread, Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen, July- Oct 2017
Working on the Body, The Old Mayor's Parlour, Hereford Sept 2017
A Darker Thread, Mission Gallery, Swansea, June- Aug 2017
Made by Hand, Cardiff, Nov 2016
Sowings For New Spring, Whitchurch, Hampshire, July 2015
Act Up- World Aid's Day, Hackney Picture House, Nov 2014
Portal, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Oct- Nov 2014
SHOW, Royal College of Art, Battersea, June 2014
WIP, Royal College of Art, Kensington, Jan 2013
New Visuality, According to McGee, York, Nov 2011
Premiere Vision, Paris, Sept 2011
New Designers, Islington, London,  June- July 2011
Untitled, The Poly, Falmouth, Cornwall, May 2011

Awards

hArt Prize 2017
Worshipful Company of Needlemakers Scholarship 2014
Texprint Finalist 2011
National Quilt Festival Award 2011