holly williams


Co-founder of The Curators' Department, Holly Williams is an innovative curator, writer and researcher with a focus on the unnoticed or overlooked aspects of contemporary living. Working closely with artists, she has actively sought out ways for diverse audiences to experience outstanding creative practice and gain an enriched understanding of the material world around them. With 12 years of experience in all areas of exhibition production, she has worked on projects across contemporary art, design, architecture, science, archival collections, time-based and digital media for a diverse range of settings and audiences.

A skilled creative producer specialising in interdisciplinary practices, Williams is adept at initiating and delivering complex site-specific projects in public spaces, cross-institutional collaborations, dynamic public programs and developing successful audience engagement strategies.  

Drawn to collaboration, Williams has worked with leading Australian and international artists, innovative curators and with organisations such as MONA, the Powerhouse Museum, ISEA, the influential New York magazine Cabinet and Indigenous organisations such as Kimberley Aboriginal ArtistsReflecting her commitment to a dynamic and sustainable creative society, she has actively fostered opportunities for early-career artists through her exhibitions, artist-in-residency initiatives and work on three Sydney-based artist-run projects.

As a current recipient of the Museum and Galleries NSW Curatorial Support Initiative, she is working with Hawkesbury Regional Gallery on an exhibition which is touring to seven regional galleries across Australia during 2016-17. Recent curated projects include the site-specific tunnel installation by Ian Burns Extended Stage, the contemporary wunderkammer, Living In The Ruins of the Twentieth Century, Trace Recordings on surveillance and portraiture in the digital age, Swedish for Argument on the ubiquitous homewares giant IKEA, and Creative Accounting which explored money and the economic system through contemporary art, archival materials and museum objects. Along with her colleagues Glenn Barkley and Ivan Muñiz Reed, Williams curated Right Here Now at the Museum of Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra, and Installation Contemporary as part of Sydney Contemporary Art Fair at Carriageworks, Sydney (both late 2015).

Williams has undertaken roles across the visual arts sector including at UTS Gallery at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australian federal government initiative Artbank, Christie’s Fine Art Auctioneers and commercial galleries in Australia and New Zealand. In her teaching, researching and writing practice she recently led a 13-week Interdisciplinary Design Lab with Dr. Lizzie Muller, undertook a curatorial mentorship at the Museum of Old and New Art with Nicole Durling and has been an occasional contributor to Weekend Arts on Radio National, runway, The Australian Art Market Report and Real Time.

Having completed a Masters of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney in 2005, Williams has recently been a PhD candidate in Curatorial Practice at Monash University, Melbourne with Dr. Tara McDowell.