There are several currents of thought running through Alan Williams’ work, touching on representations of society and politics, the psychology of relationship and the subconscious, and the history of paraphernalia and its impact on civilisation. In the broadest sense he explores the transmission and reception of information through text, image, humour and various other means. The idea of translation and the notion of narrative and language is a recurrent motif.
In his work, Williams tackles subjects that are universally human: identity, social status, human condition, sexuality, nostalgia, gender and sometimes religion. Politics, consumerism, commercialism, history and art history are all bound up in various pieces throughout his body of work, in both subject and medium. Yet, this emotional investment, making work about the things society cares about, is key.
The character of the chosen materials and subject is essential to the aesthetic, sentiment and meaning in the work. By juxtaposing certain words, images, sound and objects; a visual language can be created, engaging and puzzling audiences, challenging them to unlock their own, sometimes playful but sometimes serious meaning and relationship with the work itself.