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Biography | Geoff Williams

Geoffrey’s Story

Geoffrey David Williams was born and raised in the quite suburbs of Brisbane, a “cultural blank page” at the time, and recalled discovering a love and talent for drawing in kindergarten. Somewhat reluctantly, at age 17, Geoff joined the RAAF, and while stationed in Melbourne, as a radio technician, studied Advertising Arts at RMIT by night. In the mid 1960’s he embarked on a career as a ‘commercial artist’ working in advertising agencies in Australia and overseas.

“And you were the Donald Draper of the Melbourne advertising scene. I remember well – you were so talented, so incredibly handsome with the warmest most beautiful smile and a dry sense of humour.” JS

In 1974, while employed as a senior Art Director with advertising agency J. Walter Thompson in Germany, Geoff was inspired by an international photo-realist exhibition in Darmstadt and began easel painting. Shortly after, increasingly disillusioned with corporate propaganda, he quit this job and moved to Zürich to concentrate on painting and freelance illustration work. After five years in Europe, the lure of the Australian bush enticed Geoff to return to Melbourne where he continued painting and freelancing as an illustrator.

In 1978 Geoff escaped the urban chaos and moved to the North Coast of NSW, settling in the magical township of Mullumbimby. He dropped out, joined the environmental movement and built a house under the awesome shade of a massive Morton Bay fig tree. With Wollumbin the Cloud Catcher (Mount Warning) in the distance and the most beautiful beaches in the world lapping at his feet, Geoff painted competitively, winning several awards and exhibited with Verlie Just Town Gallery in Brisbane.

“And then there was the incredible nature that captured your soul and spoke to your heart and it was in it that you found your passion and inspiration for your art.” JS

For over 35 years Geoff embraced the vibrant North Coast community, carving a name for himself as a multidisciplinary master of easel painting, illustration, graphic design, typography, film set design, dioramas, murals, and building. In 1997 Geoff completed a Bachelor of Arts (painting) at Southern Cross University during the halcyon days of post-modernism.

By the late 1990’s Geoff’s passion for large scale works had taken hold, and murals began to form an important part of his work. Geoff travelled the world working tirelessly on major projects in Australia, Singapore, China, Ukraine and Bahrain. These works include commercial, domestic and public wall murals, rainforest and jungle murals, dioramas, landscapes and trompe l’oeil painting.

Geoff spent his golden years, at the dawn of the new millennium, working from his self-built house in the sub-tropical hinterland near Byron Bay, surrounded by family and painting prolifically. From 2000-2015 he produced over 60 detailed paintings made from high quality oils on linen. The work was inspired and informed by a commitment to the environment, nature and concerns about speciesism.

“You’re all wonderful.”

Geoffrey David Williams
1941 – 2015