Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

Lithgow artist Julie Williams video selected for short film

Sculpting in the Pyrocene: A Disappearing Act was one of 7 films selected for The Picture Show at the End of the World, international short film screening event.

Originally intended for The Cube Cinema in Bristol England, this was live streamed in November due to COVID19. These films are now uploaded to vimeo for everyone to enjoy.

Head to The Picture Show at the End of the World on Vimeo to watch a recording of the online screening event and the artists in discussion, which took place on Friday 6th November 2020:


At the centre of the frame in Sculpting in the Pyrocene: A Disappearing Act is a eucalyptus that was sculpted into a new form by the State Mine Fire, which in 2013 tore across the Newnes Plateau and devastated the bushland near the artist’s home.

As the forest regenerates the artist performs a ritual, sculpting with a light-filled net, unravelling memory to envision a future with a poetic conjuring of the past to the present. It is a tender and ephemeral process in which the tree is a silent collaborator. Ambient sounds in the forest combine with audio of the artist’s hands tracing and touching the burned tree and surrounding vegetation. Light and memory are layered with the resonance of a forest that is crushed and disintegrating as the artist’s work is done and undone.

In this act of tending and undoing the artist explores new forms of human engagement with the environment and exposes the vulnerability of humans in a collapsing world. This artwork is a meditation on the fragility of this interconnectedness. In December 2019 another firestorm, sparked by the Gospers Mountain fire, threatened the artist’s community and home.

In May 2020 she returned to the tree to find it had gone and all the surrounding forest was ash.

  • Julie is also a 2020 Finalist Heysen Prize for Landscape (upcoming) Hahndorf Academy, Hahndorf SA.

Images: Detail Video Still, Sculpting in the Pyrocene: A Disappearing Act, 2019, HD video 8mins.