HER father dying of mesothelioma and herself in a new relationship, artist Justene Williams started working on The Curtain Breathed Deeply.
In Tamworth to open her installation tomorrow, Williams said a curtain was the division between life and death, backstage and the show.
Her installation features recorded performance art, textiles and sculpture.
“When I was trying to make it, it was about death and sex,” she said.
“I had just entered into a new relationship and someone had just died.
“I was asking questions about systems of belief: death, and where do you go after death?
“And it was also about the magic that can happen in the most normal of places; you just have to look for it.”
The Curtain Breathed Deeply runs at Tamworth Regional Gallery from tomorrow to March 25.
Williams said it was “really lovely to see the strong arts scene” in Tamworth.
The gallery said the exhibition had “a spectrum of hypnotising sets and video installations abounding in sensory overload and cacophony”.
“In this exhibition, Williams melds references from art history – Picasso, Leger and Kahlo – with a range of everyday pop cultural influences including hip hop music, Milli Vanilli and A Chorus Line.
“In a series of choreographed performative videos, the artist blends together references drawing on rituals of Shamanism, Voodooism and Modernist primitivism.”