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Exhibit brings attention to decaying structures

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Photo by Wanda Jackson. Cedric Williams highlights one of his favorite works, “Quarry, Moel Fferna 2.”

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Cedric Williams highlights one of his favorite works, “Quarry, Moel Fferna 2.”

Published on: Friday, December 07, 2012

By Wanda Jackson

You get a sense of artist Cedric Williams’ interests by the titles he gives his works: Quarry, Cement Works and WWII Remains.

“My interest is in observing the ways in which buildings, surfaces and structures change once they become abandoned and cease to have a socio-economic function,” said Williams, who uses found objects, photographs and natural materials to create mixed-media abstractions.

Twelve of Williams’ most recent abstracts are being exhibited through Dec. 26 in the Library Gallery at the Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel.

His exhibit focuses on three areas: an abandoned slate quarry in North Wales, a now-demolished cement factory in Kensington, and World War II remains such as rusty metal found along the coast of Delaware.

More than half of Williams’ works in the exhibit are about quarries, located in particular in northern Wales, where he was born in 1947.

In his early years, Williams would often visit the quarry in North Wales to do figurative work.

Over time, he saw valuable quarries start the slide to dereliction.

“Slowly you would see the structures begin to cave in … their walls collapsing,” Williams said. 

Some of the structures date back to the 1880s.

In “Quarry, Moel Fferna 2,” Williams reflects on the decaying changes within abandoned buildings and other man-made structures into landscapes.

The work, which Williams said is one of his favorites because of its “colors and harmonious feel of nature” was meticulously created using “sand and gravel, paint, lots of plaster and vegetable matter such as leaves and roots.”

In some of his works, Williams also incorporates photographs of buildings and other structures. He prefers to convert his color photographs to black and white images, which he said “better reflect his themes about decay and dereliction.”

Williams has an art degree from the Gloucester College of Art and Design in England. He came to the United States in 1994 and currently resides in Kensington.

For information about Williams’ exhibit and the Montpelier Arts Center, call 301-377-7800.

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