Victorian artist Justin Lee Williams and his partner Deanne spent six years living in a small rental house and studio in a remote part of the Dandenong Ranges in Southern Victoria. Ever since then, the regions people, surroundings and local folk laws have provided a constant source of inspiration for new his painting and sculptural works. Initially, Williams fascination lay with stories like the frequent panther and large cat sightings, bodies found in the woods and the discovery of the infamous 'Family' cult led by Anne Hamilton Byrne.
In his new series of paintings, Williams explores not only the people and stories of the area, but aims to delve into a further understanding of their origins and social connotations that result in sharing them.
The best example of this is the mythical panthers, said to have been released by American World War II air servicemen who brought them over as mascots - sightings by hippies and local farmers were often reported to authorities but nothing was ever taken too seriously. It wasn't until a retired Australian Rules Football player, well recognised in the public eye was said to have seen the large cat that people began to see some truth to it. Williams interest isn't in the fact the animal may in fact be out there, but more the idea that people will only believe something if it comes from a credible source.
End represents a new, matured sense of thought, understanding and closure to these fasciations.
Opening Thursday December 4th, 5 - 8pm
Artist talk Saturday afternoon December 6th, 3pm
Exhibition continues until the 13th.
Level 1, 499 Crown St
Surry Hills (above Title Store)