The Evelyn Williams Trust

The Trust The Trust was founded in 1991 and its primary objective is to promote the Arts.

The Trust was modestly endowed by Evelyn Williams and her husband and has received support from individuals. Since its inception, it has financed year-long Fellowships in art schools to enable artist residences and later, in conjunction with Wimbledon Art School to pay fees for Drawing MAs.

Most recently it has worked with the Jerwood and now the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize to resource the biennial Evelyn Williams Drawing Award, worth £10,000 to the recipient.

The Trustees are responsible for the care of all works by Evelyn Williams, which were willed to them on her death.

The Trustees

David Alston M.B.E. – formerly Arts Director, The Arts Council of Wales, 2006-18, now retired
Esmond Bridgeman – MegaScroll Ltd
Imogen Brown – Retired, (family member) Secretary and Treasurer for the Trustees
Robin Bynoe – Solicitor, M Law LLP
Juliet Moller – Milne and Moller
Nicholas Usherwood (Chair) – Curator and author


“I like the idea that any money that comes out of my Estate will help some other artist when I am no longer around.” – Evelyn Williams

The Trust was set up in 1991 when Evelyn Williams was in her mid-sixties. Initially, the focus was on the discipline of drawing, particularly through the encouragement of young and emerging artists. “At that time there was, as far as I could see, no drawing going on in art schools,” said Evelyn. “By drawing, I don’t mean just drawing from the model, I mean making plans for what you’re going to do. It’s a process of thinking; it starts in your head and it comes out in your hands, in whatever medium you happen to be using. It is fundamental to all good art.”


Between 1994 and 2004, seven year-long Evelyn Williams Drawing Fellowships were set up, each at a different provincial art college in England. The original purpose was to support and encourage the discipline of drawing within higher education which, during the mid-1990s, was perceived to have become an embattled medium; a concern which the Evelyn Williams Trust shared with the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation. The Fellowships were awarded to emerging artists, usually in their late 20s, who were in the process of establishing themselves professionally and who would benefit from a period of time working on their practice, and encouraging the act of drawing within the supportive and stimulating environment of an art college.

Helen Ireland – Winchester School of Art, 1994 -1995
Kim Merrington – Liverpool John Moores University,?School of Art, 1996 - 1997
Peter Fillingham – Norwich School of Art, 1997 - 1998
Paul Housley – University of Northumbria, Newcastle, 1998 - 1999
Dilip Sur – Cheltenham & Gloucester, School of Art, 1999 - 2000
Yvonne Buchheim – School of Art & Design, University of Derby, 2000 - 2001
Anne-Marie Creamer – Faculty of Art, University of the West of England Bristol, 2003 – 2004

What the artists said

"I believe that having the scholarship on my CV has definitely put me at an advantage. I will forever be grateful of winning the award that day and it has encouraged and strengthened me to stick to a career in Art and continue on with my own practice - especially drawing trees!"
Susannah Morgan, Wimbledon College of Art, Evelyn Williams Drawing Scholarship 1994-95

"… I have continued with an engagement with drawing within teaching and see no reason to be anything other than determined to keep this very basic yet critical part of my practice alive as it refers to both physical making and conceptual processes which reach into other artistic understanding, appreciation and areas of practice.
… I hope that my appreciation for your support in the past is clear, a support which planted seeds deep into my practice, teaching and general appreciation of Art."

Peter Fillingham, Evelyn Williams Drawing Fellowship Norwich School of Art, 1997/98

"For me the Evelyn Williams Award came at a time of transition, as my work moved from painting to the moving image… I admired Evelyn and her generosity, providing a younger artist with support. It’s quite something to share your own good fortune with strangers! I believe in generosity as a creative principle and Evelyn has remained for me an example of how to live this principle in an individual artist. Now, as I grow older myself, I continue to think of Evelyn’s graciousness and far-sightedness
… The Evelyn Williams Trust helped change my life for the better; I owe Evelyn a great deal."

Anne-Marie Creamer, Faculty of Art, University of the West of England Bristol, Evelyn Williams Fellowship 2003-04

"When I received the Evelyn Williams Award, I spent the year working from my studio in London and being the Drawing Fellow at Winchester School of Art …The discipline of drawing from direct observation and discovering ideas through the process of working and experimentation were and still are key to my own practice. Time has gone by and I am still drawing … I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you again for giving me the award, as an artist it helped me to discover my own direction and fascination for the process of drawing."
Helen Ireland, Winchester School of Art, 2009/10

The Evelyn Williams Drawing Award

The Evelyn Williams Drawing Award valued at £10,000 is now awarded on a biennial basis to an artist selected in the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize Exhibition. The Award supports the development and realisation of new drawings for a solo exhibition by an individual artist who already has a significant track record. The award will result in an exhibition after a minimum of a twelve-month period to develop new work. The award is based on a partnership collaboration between the Trust, Drawing Projects UK and Hastings Contemporary.

The first artist selected for the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award 2017 was Barbara Walker.

Barbara Walker’s resultant exhibition Vanishing Point was mounted at the then Jerwood Gallery, Hastings October 19th - January 6th 2019.

Evelyn William’s Trustee David Alston writes about the Exhibition here.

Barbara Walker writes: “Winning the 2017 Evelyn Williams Drawing Award was an immensely important achievement. I was so honoured to have been part of the prestigious Jerwood (now Trinity Buoy Wharf) Drawing Prize and its touring exhibition in 2017. The Award, the touring exhibition and in turn my solo exhibition enabled me to form new partnerships and develop audiences to engage with my work. These opportunities provided me with valuable time, space and funds that could be specifically dedicated to engaging critically with the ongoing development of my research-led practice. The award supplied a space to examine new territories, learning new skills and knowledge, moving me out of my comfort zone. This in turn equipped me with a newfound confidence. This is exactly what I wanted to explore as part of my continued fascination with the process of drawing. The award arrived at a pivotal time in my career. The experience was life-changing in terms of sustaining my inner belief and drive with regard to my practice. I will always be truly grateful to the Evelyn Williams Trust. The following year, I created what I believe to be an ambitious and considered 11-piece new body of work forming the exhibition: ‘Vanishing Point’, (2018). After their exhibition at Hastings Contemporary, (2018), several pieces from the series went on to showcase at the Armory Show, New York, The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, (selected by artist Bob and Roberta Smith), SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah Georgia, USA and Cristea Roberts, London.”

Since winning the award, Barbara Walker has continued to exhibit locally, nationally and internationally. Her recent projects and commissions include: Turner Contemporary, Margate (2019), Art Exchanges University Essex, Colchester (2019), The Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry (2019), Somerset House, London (2019), MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, Germany (2019) Lahore Biennale (2020). She is the 2020 Bridget Riley Fellow at the British School in Rome. Her work is held in the collections of the British Museum, Arts Council Collection, Yale Center for British Art amongst many others. Barbara Walker is now represented by Cristea Roberts Gallery, London.

Vanishing Point 4 Vanishing Point 4 (Solimena). Graphite on embossed Somerset Satin paper using a photolymer Gravure plate. (2018). Photograph Chris Keenan

The second recipient of the award in 2019 is Penny McCarthy (See News section)