William Pura: “The Residue from that Process of Heightened Awareness”

Artist name: William Pura

Featured Work 1: Green Night: Forest and the Moon

Green-Night-Forest-and-the-Moon-2015_1958 (1)

This work in oil on canvas completed in 2015 offers us a carefully crafted view of the nocturnal world as seen through night vision technology.

Featured Work 2Harrow House, (1996), oil on canvas


Again, the light that exists after dark is a focus of William Pura’s work. The golden hues from the windows of the stark house are surrounded by the  glow of creamy evening light and tree shadows, set against a dark sky and ground. Much like the night, William Pura’s paintings are still but vivid, humming and alive.

As well as being a painter and composer, William Pura is a photographer. From the artist:

“I have been working with this series of portrait photographs on and off since 2009. The idea of combing two photographic portraits of the same person evolved from my work photographing actors’ headshots.”

Joshua – 2010, digital print on paper

5 Questions for the Artist:

  1. What is art to you?

“What is Art?

I see art as more of a process than a thing. When one is making art one is in touch with a range of sensibilities that bring a heightened awareness of ideas, of color, of form, and of materials.

The object or product that remains from that process is in effect the residue from that process of heightened awareness. If the product is well crafted, then the communication of that process of awareness can be successfully achieved.

A painting or sculpture, a piece of music, or a poem all have to have a sense of craftsmanship that guides the viewer, listener or reader to follow that same path of awareness. Craftsmanship should not be misconstrued as meaning painstaking detail or a slow, patient building of form. It can be wild, crazy, rough and unpolished, but in the end the product has to carry that same energy in an effective way to the viewer or participant.”

  1. What did you make in the past, and why?

“My major interests in the past revolved around my work in Printmaking, particularly etching and lithography. I loved the feel of the ink, the processes and the tactility of the various print papers that I used. Both print media involved drawing, which was my major interest at that time.

My work as a composer grew out of my interest in the piano. While pursuing my classical piano studies I found my self more and more interested in my own musical ideas, based on the works that I had studied as a performer. Most of my early works were written for solo piano.”

  1. What are you making now, and why?

“More recently I have been involved with painting and photography. In case of the former it was the larger scale and the ability to manipulate color more directly that interested me. And in the latter, it was a way of working with subject matter without have to go through the drawing stage and the fact that I liked using the software in manipulating the images.

With my music, I slowly expanded my musical ideas to include a range of instruments from full orchestra to electro-acoustic/ computer based instruments.”

4. What are your hopes for the future?

“Over the past few years I have severed ties with most of the galleries that carry my artwork, so I am in the process of trying to find a suitable gallery who understands my ideas and will promote the work properly.

As for my music I have several works in progress so I will be trying to finish them off and find performers who are up to the challenge for future performances.”

(5. Do you want to add anything? no)

Artist Supplied Background:

William Pura is an artist and composer currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He received his BFA from the University of Manitoba and his MFA from Indiana University. He works primarily as a painter but has also completed a number of projects using photography. His most recent exhibition was Inland Sea, a series of photographs documenting Lake Winnipeg. Among his current painting projects in Green Night, which explores the world as seen through night vision technology.

His musical works are available on several CDs including his latest, Piano NorthWest, which was released in 2015. One of his solo piano works, Nemesis, received its US premiere at Carnegie Hall in NYC.

William Pura is also on Facebook and LinkedIn.


William Portrait 2015_1952 (1)

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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers



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