Considered by many the greatest living Welsh painter, Shani Rhys James has developed over a long and distinguished career a unique and highly personal style of intense psychological power. Taking almost exclusively the female figure - frequently herself - as her subject, Rhys James has continued to explore the role of women within domestic spaces.
In recent work Rhys James has explored the transience of being creating images that challenge the cyclical and relentless passage of life. The female figure has become entwined with images of flowers, either in the wallpaper that surrounds them or as part of a still life composition. In Rhys James's paintings these forms take on a life of their own, subverting the traditional 'feminine' arts of still life painting and home decorating.
Rhys James has exhibited continuously throughout her career and won many awards including the prestigious Jerwood Painting Prize in 2003. She was the subject of the BBC’s documentary series ‘What Do Artists Do All Day’ in 2014 and her work is featured in many major collections including the National Museum of Wales, the Arts Council of England and Columbia University in New York. A publication on her work 'The Rivalry of Flowers' was produced in 2013, featuring an essay by critic Edward Lucie-Smith.