VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Williams, Alison

Alison Williams
South African visual artist

  • artist biography
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    Interview : 10 questions

    1. Tell me something about your life and the
    educational background

    Although I work as a contemporary artist, producing
    oil paintings that are predominantly contemporary
    abstract, I am also trained in other fields and I find
    that this tends to influence my stance as an artist. I
    hold a degree in clinical psychology and
    philosophy(RSA) and am also operating as a
    hypnotherapist(USA)working mainly with stress
    disorders. Trained in information technology and pc
    engineering within a Unix and Novell background, I
    found that I could begin to combine both my passion
    for art and technology by moving into other spheres of
    art that were less traditional and not just “paint”
    based or purely two-dimensional imagery. In art and in
    life I am obsessed with the inherent truth that lies
    beneath the surface of things, and being the curious
    hunter that I am – art becomes an exploratory tool and
    i try to use it as a passage into the human psyche and
    a way tohear, feel and “see” the heartbeat of the

    2. When, how and why started you filming?

    sony 805E handycam = is basically my first decent
    purchase and venture in the world of video making
    although it is hardly sufficient and time will allow
    further progression in the field. for now – this is
    the exploratory curve – my yearning to leave “flat”
    art and combine sound with image, movement instead of
    static paint as a medium. yes i am new at this, but
    the feeling is ancient as if I was doing this with my
    eyes closed.

    3.What kind of subjects have your films?

    As I have said – my art is fairly obsessed with the
    human psyche in all its aspects. I am concerned with
    contemporary life, with human feelings and obsessions,
    with reflections and horrors, nightmares both real and
    imagined. There is a thin line between reality and
    unreality or the dreamworld we inhabit as artists. I
    seek this line. I search for the hole in the ground
    and I can only imagine what will come out of it. I am
    currently filming paranoid landscapes – what the eye
    sees and what the mind sees are often not in sync. I
    seek the extra-ordinary in the mundane.

    4. How do you develop your films, do you follow
    certain principles, styles etc?

    at this stage all is a learning curve i play with the
    raw imagery until i am please with the aestehetic

    5. Tell me something about the technical equipment
    you use.

    sony handycam 805e – adequate for now,(water casing
    for underwater footage) and windows based media for
    editing. sony software for editing, but it is not
    adequate for audio editing. then i use adobe.

    6. What are the chances of new media for the genre
    film/video in general and you personally?

    I don’t quite follow this question. maybe i am
    sometimes very stupid.

    7. How do you finance your films?

    i sell my art.or i hypnotise people hahaha i cant
    believe I am saying this! self. funding.

    8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film
    maker or do you work in a team? if you have experience
    in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

    I prefer working alone, it is often difficult to share
    an inner vision without it being “tainted” by
    anothers’ experience. but it really depends on the
    scenario/ the subject matter – perhaps if i am filming
    specific people and have a vision that involves them –
    then a collaborative effort is better, and when it
    comes to the combination of sound art and video- i do
    collaborate with people that are excellent in that
    field, then it is to my advantage to work as a team.

    9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your
    film/video making?

    I am not able to quote specific masters within this
    field – note, i do a load of internet research and view
    endless clips online – so i guess the net is my source
    of inspiration but this is like the chicken and the
    egg thing – life inspires me first… the heartbeat of
    the earth, the vision trapped behind my eyeballs. even
    death inspires me.

    10. What are your future plans or dreams as a
    film/video maker?

    to learn to grow to bust out of this self imposed
    shell. to buy a bloody excellent camera one day!!!