There is something extremely magical and enchanting about collages – perhaps it is that quintessential craft that remotes to creating otherworldly worlds, cutting and re-imagining things, childhood memories and patience. The Icelandic-born, London based artist Kristjana S Williams though has taken this art form to a complete new level – creating work not only for the greatest brands in the world but to some of the greatest experiences in world. Her work has graced the likes of Liberty of London, Fortnum & Mason, Penhaligon’s, Christian Louboutin, The Victoria and Albert Museum, and Wimbledon and The Olympics Rio 2016 – to name a few.
With a pallet of commissions that span from large scale prints, bespoke collages, packing design, furniture design and digital performances – her work is as incredible as her background. Kristjana graduated in Illustration from Central Saint Martin’s and has seen her work awarded since the early stages: her first entrepreneurial step as the Creative Director of award winning concept store Beyond the Valley, in the iconic Carnaby Street in London. Her childhood – she says – was framed by Iceland’s monochrome landscapes, but her imagination was as colorful as it would go. And she has fantastically explored that imagination to produce bespoke work for a fast growing clientele of eager collectors and brands.
Her work is an elegant balance between fine craftsmanship, precise execution and a large dose of her unique imagination. There is no work like hers. It is easy to see why brands all over the planet want her magic touch to grace their products.
Inspired by the profusion of colors that lacked on her homeland Iceland, Kristjana draws from the distant tropical lands to re-imagine birds, trees, flowers and butterflies – one of her favorite subjects. This profusion of colors was used to its jaw dropping effect during the Rio 2016 Olympics when the artist was commissioned to produce a video mapping performance on the facade of Latin America’s most iconic hotel The Belmond Copacabana Palace. Another iconic work of hers is the famous Christmas window displays and seasonal festive products of Fortnum & Mason in London.
Kristjana is one of those artists that one is completely taken by – her work as powerful as her words. To watch her and her team create layers upon layers of delicate handmade work is magical. I have had the chance to meet wonderful artists around the world, but chatting to her at her studio in London is like immersing oneself in a parallel universe of generous creativity, broad smiles and whimsical creatures that are constantly changing. Talking to the artist one instinctively understands why her work speaks to so many people – the world of Kristjana S Williams is indeed a very graceful place to be.
“Williams’s inspiration lies heavily with layering nature upon nature and ‘the symmetry in all things living’, which stems from the artist’s childhood in Iceland.”