Justin Williams
Australian, born 1984

Justin Williams produces contemporary folk art paintings and sculptures inspired by the mythology and residents of Australia’s remote Mount Dandenong region. Rendered in murky oil paints and thin washes of color, Williams’s figures and landscapes appear to hover above the canvas as they glow from within. His “Stained Mountain” series investigates notions of beauty in the context of Mount Dandenong’s isolated, heavily wooded environment. Whether he is painting a robe-adorned local icon called Baba Desi or a surreal wooded landscape, Williams’s wraith-like forms, shadowy scenes, and lyrical brushstrokes exhibit an intense underlying darkness. Like his paintings, Williams’s ceramics explore regional folk traditions. Visually haphazard and off-kilter, in the style of Japanese wabi-sabi, his seemingly atemporal objects appear as physical manifestations of longstanding folklore.