I respectfully acknowledge the Wiradjuri and Gundungurra people who are the traditional custodians of the land I call home. I pay respect to their Elders — past, present and emerging — and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded and this land has always been under their custodianship.
Julie Williams is a photomedia artist based in the NSW Central West whose artistic practice examines the contemporary world and the effects of daily life on humans and the environment. Williams addresses our vulnerability as a species disconnected from nature; disconnected from ourselves. Across photography, video and installation, utilising self-portraiture with multiple exposures, Williams immerses herself deep within the landscape to highlight the search for reconnection and an ecological healing. The camera lens is her eye as it passes through the land uncovering and rediscovering old places: twisting lines of sunlight on water become written language to decipher, birdsong audio morphs into human chanting and mountains resonate with the depths of time. When the artist appears in the imagery, it as a translucent figure displaced and searching. Her work queries the spirit of place and how humanity can inhabit a location more fully.
Williams received an Honourable Mention in the 2022 Mullins Conceptual Photography Prize held at the Muswellbrook Regional Art Centre. Two works, Moth and Olinda from the exhibition Smother were selected as finalists, with Moth receiving the award. Smother was first exhibited in 2022 for the Cementa22 Contemporary Arts Festival and was installed in the Kandos Museum during the festival.
Group exhibitions during February 2021 included NO SHOW at Carriageworks; Grounded at Gaffa Gallery and HERE/NOW at Orange Regional Gallery.
In 2020 Julie Williams' moving image work Sculpting in the Pyrocene; A Disappearing Act (2019) was selected as a Finalist in the Heysen Prize for Landscape and was one of seven short films chosen for the The Picture Show at the End of the World; a presentation by the Dark Mountain Project with an online screening event of international, uncivilised films including a post screening conversation with the filmmakers.
Sculpting in the Pyrocene; A Disappearing Act (2019) and the photography series Photographer Unknown (2019) were also selected for installation in the Foyer of the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, as part of the Art, Not Apart Festival (2020).These two works were initially created for Here, Not Here (2019), an exhibition of regional contemporary artists curated by Dr Andrew Frost for the Cementa19 arts festival in Kandos.
Williams is a recipient of artist grants including; Arts OutWest Arts Restart Micro Grant (2021); NAVA Artists’ Benevolent Grant (2020); NAVA Marketing Grant for NSW Artists (2011); Australia Council VACB Artists’ Project Grant (1992) and NSW Ministry for the Arts Marketing Grant (1992).
Williams has received a Highly Commended award in the Muswellbrook Photographic Award (1994) and Commended Awards in the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award (2008), the Muswellbrook Photographic Award (2010) and Art in the Mountains (1995).
Since 1993 Williams has been a finalist in national awards including; the Mullins Conceptual Photography Prize (2022); Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture (2017); Fisher’s Ghost Art Award (2017, 2016, 2014); Paramor Prize (2015); Heysen Prize for Interpretation of Place (2020, 2012); Wilson Visual Art Award (2012) and the Muswellbrook Photographic Award (1993, 2008).
Since 2011 Williams has worked with Sandy Edwards, Director of Arthere who curates solo exhibitions for Williams including; The Tears at Barometer Gallery, Paddington (2016); Reflections: Fire and Water at CK Gallery, Newtown (2014) and Water Magicians Syndicate @ Danks, 2 Danks St Waterloo (2012). Group shows include; Arthere at Sydney Contemporary Carriageworks (2018); October Unseen at 10x8 Gallery, Chippendale (2014); Summer Show at Black Eye Contemporary Photography Gallery, Darlinghurst (2014) and Catherine Cloran, Matt Palmer, Julie Williams at Arthere Gallery, Redfern (2012).
Creating support networks with regional artists has provided Williams with professional development opportunities including; Cementa Regional Artist Professional Development Program with Lead Mentor Amala Groom (2020); three Master Class Collage Workshops with Deborah Kelly at Bathurst Regional Gallery (2019) and at WAYOUT (2019, 2020) and community based participation in the formation of WAYOUT Artist Run Initiative (2020) and the Women with Knives collective (2019) at Kandos.