Julie Williams

Sculpting in the Pyrocene: A Disappearing Act

Film / Moving Image


In 2013 the State Mine Fire ripped across the Newnes Plateau and beyond significantly devastating vast tracts of bushland adjacent to the artist's home. The tree central to this artwork was sculpted by this fire, while its deep roots remained steadfast and anchored. Within the regenerating landscape of this eucalypt forest the artist and the tree perform a collaborative ritual. The duo sculpt with a light-filled net to unravel memory and history, envisioning the future in a poetic conjuring of the past to the present. Together they expose our vulnerability as a species in a collapsing world.

Accompanying the video is ‘Photographer Unknown’, a series of gelatin silver photographs exploring lens based self-portraiture.The viewer witnesses the artist as both photographer and subject, at first contact with a wounded landscape within the Australian bushland.

In December 2019 the Newnes Plateau was engulfed by fire once again, this time by the Gospers Mountain Fire. The artist believes the burned tree would not have survived the ferocity of this blaze. 


Julie Williams is a photo-media artist living and working in the Central West region of NSW. Her art practice addresses our vulnerability as a species disconnected from nature. Across photography, video and installation, she utilises self portraiture with multiple exposures; immersing herself deep within the landscape to highlight the search for reconnection and an ecological healing. 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. Julie has exhibited widely; receiving commendations in national art awards, artist grants and sponsorship. Internationally her work has recently been included in the 2018 Family of No Man exhibition and time capsule at Les Recontres de la Photographie, in Arles and the publication Dark Mountain Anthology issue #13 Being Human in the Thick of the Present.





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