Kelly S. Williams

Region: South


City / State: Nashville, TN

 “Yes . . .” that peculiar
affirmative. “Yes . . .”
A sharp, indrawn breath,
half groan, half acceptance,
that means “Life’s like that.
We know it (also death).”
–Elizabeth Bishop, from “The Moose”

Vanitas painting of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is certainly reblooming in the still-life paintings created today. Grief for our lives lived pre-pandemic is tangible in my paintings. Objects as benign as board games, houseplants, and tarot cards become signifiers of futility, doubt, and fear while simultaneously offering moments of respite.