Henry Woolway’s wide ranging body of work is a candid look at this relationship with life experiences both recent and from his childhood growing up in Cornwall, England. Visually taking aesthetics from Scandinavian and European design and culture as well as Early mid century modern design. This tied in with simplistic and rudimental techniques gives the air of form over function or indeed a linear meaning to his work.
Born in Plymouth, England in the late 1980’s, Woolway’s work reflects on the semi-rural upbringing and the simpler state of life one can take. Through stripping back the substance or noise one can see the simple basic emotions or time locked statements in his work. The use of limited materials and colours allows this personal look back to show more truly whilst still allowing the viewer to understand and find their own meanings.
Woolway’s oeuvre encompasses paintings, wall hangings, sculptural and and array of works on paper. the physical elements of his more recent works include torn and cut canvas which demonstrates a desire to break from the norm whilst the structure in his pieces shows a longing to conform. This juxtaposition forms the base of his work and is something that runs throughout.
Henry James Woolway was born on the 5th of February 1987 in Plymouth, England. After spending his childhood in Cornwall he moved to Cardiff in Wales to study TV and Film Set Design at Glamorgan University. Graduating in 2010 he went on to work in London on Tv and Film Productions. In 2015 Henry took on a small studio in Peckham, London. Between 2015 and 2019 Henry worked on sculptural pieces working with plaster, plasticine, perspex and metal among other materials when he saw fit. This was an experimental stage of his art career never landing on a material or style from which formed the basis of his works but flowed organically from style and form to suit the works he was currently creating.
In 2019 Woolway moved to Liverpool and due to redevelopment of Peckham he left his studio behind. This revaluation and move allowed him the opportunity to persue other styles. starting work in his home Henry began painting in mid 2019. These early paintings showed a sense of dynamism and movement, sticking to black white and the occasional red Henry kept the style quick and never lingered. It wasn't until March 2020 when Henry his ‘Scraps’ series which was comprised of four original paintings did we see the dyed and torn canvas technique which now dominates his work. This led onto a larger series called ‘Slate’ and then ‘Symphonies’. Working on further pieces Henry’s work continues exploring the themes he has always confronted. The idea of process and calmness shows through. Colours are substituted by textures, layering, paint effects and allowed space. This abstinence grants the capacity for people to breath with and consider his work.
Woolway’s work has been shown in Liverpool at the Bridewell Gallery in 2020. He has had his work in two auctions with the Auction Collective in London in November 2020 and June 2021. His works have featured in print including House and Garden Dec 2020 and Le Mile in March 2021. Aspirational brands such as Gabriel Scott Lighting have used his work in Advertising campaigns.