[Photos: Sarah Cottier Gallery]

Justene Williams (b.1970, Sydney) currently lives and works in Brisbane. She has been making and exhibiting work since the 1990s. Her early practice, concerned primarily with experimental photography, evolved quickly into an all-consuming, energetic amalgamation of video, photography, sculpture and performance. In the spirit of Dada and the radicalism of the 20th Century avant garde, Williams utilises collage and the absurd to splice ostensibly disparate contexts, forging new transhistorical and cross-cultural hyperrealities that aim to bridge the threshold between the corporeal and spiritual. Incorporating a range of found and recycled materials, Williams creates elaborate costumes and environments in which she executes delirious actions that invoke the spirits of past art movements conflated with cryptic allusions to more personal narratives. The documentation of these shamanistic performances are then collaged in post-production and screened within complex installations; high-energy environments that the audience experiences as an immersive cacophony of performance, sculpture, video and sound. Williams often collaborates with performers in her adaptations of historical and mythological narratives. In 2016, she worked with Sydney Chamber Opera on a radical restaging of legendary Futurist (anti-) opera Victory Over the Sun for the Biennale of Sydney.

Justene Williams completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the University of Western Sydney in 1991, and graduated from Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) with a Postgraduate Diploma in 1992 and Master of Visual Arts in 2006. She was the recipient of the Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Travel Scholarship in 2010 and the Katherine Hannay Visual Arts commission in 2014. Recent exhibitions include her monumental The Curtain Breathed Deeply which recently concluded its four year national tour; Inaugural Exhibition, Buxton Contemporary, Melbourne 2017; Eternal Circling in a Present Whole: Selected works by Justene Williams, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (CACSA), Adelaide 2016; The National: New Australian Art, Carriageworks, Sydney 2017; The future is already here - it’s just not evenly distributed, 20th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney 2015; Pleasure and Reality at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2015 ; MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2016+2018; and Performa 15, NewYork City 2015. Her work is held in the collections of The Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney; The Chartwell Collection, New Zealand, The Michael Buxton Collection, Melbourne; Artbank, Sydney, as well as many private collections both nationally and internationally.

[Text: Sarah Cottier Gallery]

©YYYYMMDD All content and design by Daniela Grabosch + Ricardo Almeida Roque unless otherwise stated. Images, Videos and Texts can only be used under permission of the author(s).