From fine artist to photographer. During the last few years Althea Wilson has developed her own unique techniques bringing all the years of training in various disciplines together to form still-life pictures.
From fine artist to photographer. During the last few years Althea Wilson has developed her own unique techniques bringing all the years of training in various disciplines together to form still-life pictures. Predominantly she uses natural light to enhance the stage of handprinted backdrops, real antique and modern props, fruit, vegetables and flowers. Filters are not used to age the appearance of scratched and mildewed photographs, rather sheets of glass or perspex are prepared to achieve whatever finishes she needs to execute her artwork in real time. Photoshop is merely employed to correct minor errors, and rarely used to fade an image in specific areas.
Althea Wilson began her career in Nigeria; examples of her early paintings are held in the Nigeria National Collection of Art, as a result of sixteen exhibitions held in Lagos Art Galleries. She later moved to London to design and make up antique African necklaces for Yves Saint Laurent, designed and painted window displays for Dunhill International, Rococo and other shops. She went into the antique trade then ran her own shop for fourteen years and has worked on the restoration of painted, gilded and Chinese lacquered antique furniture for the late Lord Rendlesham and Scarisbrick & Bate of Mount Street, London W1 among many antique dealers and interior decorators. Her paintings have been exhibited in solo shows at the Richmond Galley, Cork Street, The Medici Gallery (1986 - 2001) and several London West End Galleries. Her work can be seen in private collections world wide, including that of Baroness Fiona Thyseen-Bornemisza, as featured in Architectural Digest 200l, USA. Her hand built ceramics were on regular display at the Medici Gallery, Grafton Street, and Steven Bartley Gallery Chelsea. Her commissions include paintings for the Saint James Court Hotel -Taj Group- London, designs for a hand-printed wallpaper collection by Nobilis Fontain of Paris. In l992 she was awarded the internationally prestigious design commission from Shiseido Japan, then in its third year following on from Erte. Her designs to a theme of Rakuen -paradise- painted onto bone china were widely exhibited in conjunction with her paintings, most notably at Art Space, Tokyo, which led to television documentaries and interviews about her work, editorial coverage and many private commissions. Her interior design consultants and painted mural work includes nine restaurants in London, numerous private homes in England and America. The Firmdale Hotel Group commissioned her batik hand-painted textiles for the Knightsbridge hotel, custom cloth covered portfolio entered in the Andrew Martin Designer of the Year Award and the Firmdale client Christmas gift of forty five individually hand painted and decorated figurative sculptures. Althea Wilson acts as a consultant to several architectural designers; her involvement over a period of several months was to the armed forces Victory Club in the West End of London. One of her later commissions was to design a collection of textiles for hand block prints by Soma Blockprints Pvt. Ltd., India to be shown at the Birmingham Design Fair. U.K. Althea Wilson has exhibited her latest ceramic, bronze, hand silk screened, and batik hand painted cloth collections at Decorex 2004.
Althea Wilson has now moved into the field of still life photography. In 2015 her work was exhibited at the RHS Halls where she was awarded a silver-gilt medal. 2016 she was awarded her LRPS by the Royal Photographic Society. May 2017 her photographs The Habitat of Magnolias was awarded a silver gilt medal on the RHS stand at the Chelsea Flower Show. She was chosen to photograph artefacts at the Sufi Museum, Oxford, for a book publication. At present she works with a ceramic artist interpreting her sculptural forms photographically and has been invited to exhibit her work at Doha Museum by the Al Thani Princess of Qatar.