Banker Baker Spanglemachine Maker was a temporary laneway artwork that comprised a performance artwork in the form of a video projected high onto the wall of a building in Curtin Place. The video featured a dynamic sequence where the artist, dressed in a variety of costumes, performed a complex dance through colourful sets created from collaged paper and the debris of ordinary city life.
Williams wrote of her work:
The concept of the work is to embody the adrenalin and vibrancy of the workers in the city of Sydney. Realising a video representing the mitochondria of this city, I draw on my own work experiences, as a rag trader in the mall, an office worker and a hostess in the table-dancing clubs on George St.
Working with the shape of the building, I have constructed sets that tower upward, echoing the dizzying heights of the city’s architecture. Throughout history, mechanical creatures and robots have reflected both the discord and the connection between man and machine.
The characters I inhabit within the video, assume this persona, referencing the Bauhaus and Futurism. The figure dances up and around revolving poles, stacked with inserted plastic chairs, articulating through action, the idea of vying for your position within a big city. These are steel and plastic trees of sorts – a man-made forest.
Justene Williams is from Sydney and has been exhibiting her work for more than 20 years. Her work includes video performances, installations, sculptures and live performances, often within complex, elaborate sets constructed from discarded everyday items and paper collages.
Williams’ work has been displayed in solo and group exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and Europe, and is held in numerous collections including those of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.