Willett’s abstract pieces are immersive and hypnotic sensory environments – transporting the viewer to an aesthetic world of rhythm and illusion – always inventive, challenging and beautiful
Painting, for me, is a way of balancing stillness with energy and movement.
One of the things I find most compulsive about painting is the slowing down of time, and how the temporal register effects the work. The process I have developed consists of both systematic repetition and conscious intuition, creating detailed, multi-layered surfaces – the curvilinea shapes that emerge are never entirely predicted. Repetition of form, as in the natural environment, creates complex growth patterns and rhythms, allowing the pictorial space to act as a platform for transformation and evolution. The layers create visual tensions and a dialogue emerges between what is hidden and what is revealed. The results play with the stability of the viewing experience, creating complex illusions of depth that confuse the eye and trick the brain.
There is a desire through the labour intensity of the work for the monumental and prosaic to co-exist and for the results to act as a visual map of the temporal activity. The paintings sometimes have a playful element, hovering between abstract and representational, elevating the mundane to a heightened status.
The imagery is sourced from fabrics, mosaics, Chinese landscape painting, Flemish primitive painting, the natural world, micro/macro biology and sci-fi, as well as referencing traditional domestic and quotidian crafts. I am also interested in the potential of the decorative to act as a disruptive or unsettling force.
Although painting is the locus of my practice, I also work in a variety of mediums, including printmaking and large scale installations, which immerse the viewer in sensory environments. An interactive dialogue often develops be between the installations and paintings, with one informing and advancing the other.