Justene Williams

Justene Williams

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.

Selected works

    Mystic Corn

    Justene Williams

    Mystic Corn 2021

    Oven Mitt Baby 1

    Justene Williams

    Oven Mitt Baby 1 2020

    Fan Girl #2

    Justene Williams

    Fan Girl #2 2018

    Mask #2

    Justene Williams

    Mask #2 2018

    Pampathy

    Justene Williams

    Pampathy 2018

    Reindeer Rocker 1

    Justene Williams

    Reindeer Rocker 1 2019

    Static Ballet

    Justene Williams

    Static Ballet 2013

Exhibitions

  • Penny on the threshold

    Justene Williams

    Penny on the threshold

    22 May - June 19, 2021

  • Sydney Contemporary Presents 2020

    Sydney Contemporary Presents 2020

    Julie FragarSarah MoscaElizabeth PulieJelena TeleckiJustene Williams

    1 - October 31, 2020

  • RONDO

    RONDO

    Julie FragarDavid HainesLucina LaneTodd McMillanElizabeth PulieHuseyin SamiKoji RyuiGemma SmithTony SchwensenJelena TeleckiBrendan Van HekJustene Williams

    1 - February 29, 2020

  • Project Dead Empathy

    Justene Williams

    Project Dead Empathy

    10 November - December 15, 2018

  • No Mind

    Justene Williams

    No Mind

    26 March - April 18, 2015

  • 20 200

    20 200

    Hany ArmaniousMatthys GerberJohn NixonMikala DwyerMaria CruzAnne-Marie MayA.D.S. Donaldson & Andreas ExnerSylvie FleuryKerrie PolinessJohn ArmlederOlivier MossetAndreas Reiter RaabeGail HastingsTony SchwensenPaul SaintGerold MillerDiena GeorgettiMelinda HarperRuark LewisJohn SpiteriJan van der PloegJulia GormanJames LynchDavid GriggsElizabeth NewmanRobert PulieSimon BarneyPeter WüthrichTim SilverMary TeagueHuseyin SamiRachel ScottOscar YanezElizabeth PulieStephen BramRose NolanKoji RyuiGemma SmithSimon DennyMatt HinkleyJohn NicholsonChristopher HanrahanJulie FragarJustin TrendallMoya McKennaRon AdamsSandra SeligJamie NorthTodd McMillanJonathan ZawadaJustene Williams

    13 March - April 17, 2014

  • Static Ballet

    Justene Williams

    Static Ballet

    4 April - May 11, 2013

  • Masculin Feminin

    Masculin Feminin

    Sandra SeligJulie FragarMaria CruzGemma SmithMoya McKennaElizabeth PulieJustene WilliamsDiena Georgetti

    24 February - March 17, 2012

  • 4 Rock Droppers & a Cubist Phone

    Justene Williams

    4 Rock Droppers & a Cubist Phone

    18 February - March 19, 2011

  • Ten

    Ten

    John ArmlederSydney BallMaria CruzJulian DashperA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerSylvie FleuryDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberJulia GormanMarco FusinatoAnne-Marie MayOlivier MossetJohn NixonAndreas Reiter RaabeTony SchwensenJan van der PloegJustene WilliamsPeter Wüthrich

    29 November - December 6, 2003

  • Justene Williams

    Justene Williams

    10 August - September 7, 2002

  • Justene Williams

    Justene Williams

    15 November - December 16, 2000

  • Xmas 1999

    Xmas 1999

    Hany ArmaniousMaria CruzJulian DashperA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberAnne-Marie MayJohn NixonMike ParrAndreas Reiter RaabeJustene Williams

    8 - December 18, 1999

  • Justene Williams

    Justene Williams

    3 February - March 6, 1999

  • 1998

    1998

    Hany ArmaniousMaria CruzJulian DashperA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberAnne-Marie MayJohn NixonMike ParrKerrie PolinessJustene Williams

    9 December, 1998 - January 30, 1999

  • Christmas

    Christmas

    Hany ArmaniousJohn ArmlederMaria CruzJulian DashperA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerSylvie FleuryDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberAnne-Marie MayOlivier MossetJohn NixonKerrie PolinessAndreas Reiter RaabeJustene Williams

    1 - December 30, 1997

  • Justene Williams

    Justene Williams

    22 October - November 15, 1997

  • Raindrops on Roses

    Raindrops on Roses

    Hany ArmaniousJulian DashperA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerSylvie FleuryDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberAnne-Marie MayOlivier MossetJohn NixonKerrie PolinessAndreas Reiter RaabeJustene Williams

    27 November - December 21, 1996

  • Road to Love / Can't Live Without Plastic

    Road to Love / Can't Live Without Plastic

    Elizabeth NewmanSophie CoombsGail HastingsGeoff KleemErna LiljeRobin NeatePaul SaintTony SchwensenRonnie van HoutJustene WilliamsAnne OomsDiena Georgetti

    7 February - March 30, 1996