Katherine Williams is an Australian based photographer with an interest in the intimate bond between people and nature. Her social portraiture and fine art photography has received recognition in numerous art and industry awards, most notably in 2015 as a highly commended finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize with a piece from a long-term series on intergenerational youth pregnancy. More recently, her ocean-based work has been shortlisted for Photo Collective’s Stories 2021 and her fine art photography in the Percivals Photographic Portrait Prize 2022. Furthermore, Katherine’s photography has been frequently shown in exhibitions and installations, including a large-scale digital installation at Vivid Sydney 2017 in collaboration with Coca Cola. Katherine is a member of WH!P Collective, which brings together the talents of women of the Hunter region in photography.
“Irruption, from the latin irruptio, meaning to attack or assault with sudden violence. And violence takes many forms.
The recent years have been a time of sudden violence, of irruption.
Of heat, fires, rain, and flooding of unprecedented intensity. We have been locked down, and in. And as more and more news of gendered violence emerged, a deluge of truth irrupted.
Predictably, these events created space and cause to think and reflect. Through this time I looked back on the decades I believed the narratives that society created about me, and I struggled to reconcile my intellectual understanding of coercive control with the feelings of shame and guilt associated with my own experiences.
For too long, people and systems have made me feel that I deserved to be treated poorly because I am a woman. Made me accept commentary on my appearance, my behavior, my anger. Of course, the same systems and people responsible for this normative imposition are the architects of the catastrophic demise of our environment.
In this ongoing series of conceptual photography, I explore and release the intense and often contradictory emotions my reflection on these systems inspires. In my self-portraiture, I reject the need for beauty. For decades I have had a distorted worldview. Now, I intentionally distort the world to make it more real. I want the viewer to be party to the irruption, to be confronted, confused by the anger, fire, rage, injustice, fury, and power. Now it is someone else’s turn to sit with the discomfort that I have felt for as long as I can remember.
These images capture an upwelling of compassion for myself, and the discovery of power in my rage”. – Katherine Williams
2015 Humans of Kings Cross, in collaboration with The Wayside Chapel – Head On Photo Festival
2014 Bangkok, Head On Photo Festival
2022 ‘50 Squared’, Brunswick Street Gallery, VIC
2022 ‘Flow’, WH!P Collective and Lighthouse Arts
2021 ‘Clouds’, Newcastle Art Space, NSW
2021 ‘2020 Vision’, Head On Photo Festival
2017 ‘Vivid’ installation, Kings Cross Precinct, Sydney NSW
2022 Finalist, KLPA International Portrait Photography Prize
2022 Shortlisted, Percivals Photographic Portrait Prize
2021 Shortlisted, Stories 2021, Photo Collective
2020 Finalist , Lake Art Prize, Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie
2020 Finalist, Works on Paper, Blackstone Gallery
2017 Finalist, Head On Photo Awards, Mobile Category
2016 Finalist, Australia’s Top Emerging Photographers, Landscape Category – Capture Magazine
2015 Highly Commended, National Photographic Portrait Prize
2014 Finalist, Head On Portrait Prize
2013 Finalist, 1233 ABC Portrait Prize
2018 Featured in Capture Magazine – The Annual|
2017 Featured in Capture Magazine – Talent
2016 “Muster in the Dust” – The Adventure Handbook
2015 “Kids of Carrington” – The Newcastle Herald Weekender
2013 “The House in Carrington” – The Newcastle Herald Weekender