AMANDA WILLIAMS


Amanda Williams works experimentally with the variables of black and white analogue photography, its material underpinnings and historical legacy, demonstrating its contemporary significance. She sometimes favours photographic materials past their shelf-life and works against conventions of exposure and development so that outcomes are opened up to chance, welcoming aberration and making each version of each print highly individuated.

Williams’ recent photographic series are mural-scaled silver gelatin hand prints documenting landscapes of high conservation and sculptural value. Her meditative works convey the extraordinary richness of fragile ecologies and draw attention to how perceptions of place, and the historical content inscribed within the photographic image and its making, is not fixed and is susceptible to change over time and with ideological viewpoints. The very physical and energetic processes involved in the making of these works, their indebtedness to the sensitivities and agencies of light and their fineness of detail, exist in parallel with their subjects’ unfathomable biological complexity, deep geological time and the power of photosynthesis. These images communicate experiences of awe, humility, care and solitude within Nature consistent with their making. Williams acknowledges her presence on unceded Aboriginal lands in her making of these photographs.

In 2021, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia made a major acquisition of Amanda Williams’ Alpine Bogs and Associated Fens series. Williams (b. 1975, Sydney) exhibited in PHOTO 2021 International Festival of Photography in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens and in Whose Land Is It? at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool (UK) also in 2021. Williams was awarded the 2018 National Photography Prize and has twice been shortlisted for the Bowness Photography Prize. In 2022, Williams has taken up a Creative Industries Residency at the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney) giving her access to the museum’s archive and historic camera collection and is commencing a Doctorate degree with Sydney College of the Arts (the University of Sydney). Her portrait series, Or your shadow, rising to meet you, was commissioned in 2020 by the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney). Williams has lectured in photography at the National Art School, Sydney College of the Arts and UNSW Art and Design (all Sydney). Her work is in the collections of Murray Art Museum Albury (Albury), the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Sydney) and Wesfarmers (Perth).

 

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