William Mansfield is a Sydney based multi-disciplinary visual artist. Pursuing a dynamic experimental DIY aesthetic, Mansfield utilises a broad range of mediums including video, sculpture and installation. Mansfield’s unique practice conflates ideas of schlock horror and glitch art with childhood nostalgia, interrogating notions of torment and the grotesque, with irreverent and kitsch humour. He employs pre-cinematic devices and handmade dioramas to weave together open-ended narratives within his work.
Mansfield graduated from COFA UNSW with 1st Class Honours (2007) and has since exhibited widely in solo and group shows throughout Australia and abroad. His video practice has been concerned with interpretations of vulgarity and the puerile through the garish and humorous reappropriation of sampled material from cinema and television history, evident in his works Technicolour Yawn MCA Artbar (2012) and Chunder from Down Under exhibited as part of the Televisions Festival Carriageworks (2013).
Mansfield aims to reveal the mechanisms behind cinematic spectacles and illusions by remixing and manipulating cultural memory. Through his installation and sculptural work, Mansfield challenges traditional notions of the gallery by physically altering the space to impose on the audience, contradicting their expectations through theatrical trickery. This was explored in the collaborative work Grand Chasm (2011), an experiential installation referencing human intervention in nature and most recently through his solo multi sensory installation Inferno (2016), an immersive manifestation of the fiery bowels of hell inspired by Dante's epic poem.
Mansfield has collaborated with a variety of artists including Brown Council, Canyons and Daniel Boyd. He was the co-founder and key member of the theatre and remix collective Rhubarb Rhubarb responsible for Wonka: A live cinema remix (2007) and The Mad Max Remix (2009). Mansfield co-created and performed the hybrid theatre show Some Film Museums I Have Known at Nextwave Festival, ACMI Melbourne (2010).
He is currently a studio resident at Brand X’s Arts Incubator Space in St Leonards.