[ISEA2013] Artist Statement: Naretha Williams – Shifter

Artist Statement

Digital HD moving image, duration 03:50 mins, looped, col, sd, 2010. Courtesy of the Artist. One of 3 art works in the Naala-ba exhibition.

This ‘lo-fi’ film merges past and present while anchoring ideas of spiritual practice in a historical context. Using movement to access altered states of awareness is a common practice worldwide. In ritual the movement often accelerates, and sound becomes louder, layered and intense, as energy is raised. In this work, in contrast, the image is slowed down and the sound bed minimal, in order to allow the viewer access to ‘the space that is experienced in between’. Shifter reflects aspects of self co-existing, each informing and experiencing the other – shifting and morphing, yet holding the same space, represented by the circle. The work highlights a capacity, and often a need to shapeshift in the world. In its broadest sense, shapeshifting is when a being has the ability to alter its physical appearance; cultivated, this becomes a skill and an asset, and allows for multifaceted expressions of authenticity.

  • Naretha Williams, Wiradjuri, b. 1977, Melbourne (Wurundjeri/Boonwurrung), based in Byron Bay (Arakwal Bundjalung). Naretha Williams is an interdisciplinary artist whose bloodlines are Wiradjuri (NSW), English, Irish and Chinese. She creates work that explores, questions, provokes and dismantles ideas around identity, culture, esoteric knowledge and contemporary shamanics. Consistently challenging assumptions on authenticity, her work often takes place in grey areas, and lines are deliberately blurred. As an interdisciplinary artist her process is fundamental to the work itself, and she is continually excited about the alchemy of art. She is an experienced performer, production technician and artistic creator, and has toured nationally and internationally with both Indigenous and non-indigenous productions.

Presented with assistance from Arts NSW. Carriageworks is a cultural facility of the NSW Government and is supported by Arts NSW.