Robert Williams

Robert Williams is an artist and academic, he studied at Lancaster University and at Leeds University where he was a Henry Moore Scholar in Sculpture Studies in 1990. He has been leader of the Fine Art Programme at Cumbria Institute of the Arts / University of Cumbria since 1998. Robert’s interdisciplinary practice encompasses sculpture, installation, performance, film-making & writing, and encompasses an interest in epistemology and systems of knowledge from the hermetic to the scientific.

Recent practice includes a number of collaborative projects with the American artist Mark Dion in the USA and UK including The Tasting Garden at Lancaster (1998), The Tate Thames Dig (1999), Theatrum Mundi: Armarium (2001), Down the Garden Path: Artists Gardens After Modernism at the Queens Museum of Art, New York (2005), a series of prints with Dion which formed part of the London Underground Art Project associated with Dion’s Microcosmographia at the South London Art Gallery (2006) and An Ordinall of Alchimy at The Cabinet Magazine Gallery in Brooklyn, and the Slought Foundation, Philadelphia in 2010.

Robert’s latest collaborations are with his son, Jack Aylward-Williams, and include the year long Thesaurus Scienta Lancastriae (2004-2005), the book of which was shortlisted for the 2006 AXA/Art Newspaper award; Virga et Lapilla dealing with archaeology in Stones, Circles, Landscape & Art at Penrith Museum (2006), Arca Tartareum for The Underworld project and the two projects Historico-naturalis et Archaologica ex Dale Street (2008/9), and Bibliotheca ab Gilbertus Niveus (2010) for Simon Morris’ Perverse Library, both of which take as their starting point Gilbert White’s Natural History of Selbourne. Robert and Jack are currently working on Disjecta Fragmen Communitis (2010/11) collecting glass sherds with the help of friends from around the world. See http://www.aylwardwilliams.com/Site/Welcome.html for more information.

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Contributed by Robert Williams

Kaplani, Natural History Museum of the Aegean