Justina Willis

Yinjaa Barni Artists

Justina Willis was born in Leigh Creek in South Australia in 1981 – “My dad was from Adelaide.” She has two sisters, Melissa and Rebecca and now, a little sister, Juanita.  The family moved from Adelaide to Broome and Justina attended primary school and high school there. “I travelled between Broome and Roebourne a lot and then I came to live permanently in Roebourne, my mother’s country, in about 1999, and have been here ever since. I started doing art late in 2006 after visiting my family at the Yinjaa-Barni Art Centre and watching them painting. I started to do some sketching and the teacher saw what I was doing and gave me some paint and canvas to paint what I had sketched. I started doing a TAFE short course in painting and design. I love painting. It gives me great pleasure to see the finished work.” Justina has a style unlike any of her fellow artist friends and family. She meticulously plans her work to achieve the effect and composition she desires, painting fine stroke and dot work over an abstract underbase of the rich colours that are prevalent in the Pilbara. She cares for detail and precision and her art has a quality that is extremely appealing. Justina experiments with colour concepts and sometimes uses optical colour mixing to create a third dimension to her work. She can work for hours, days and often weeks on one piece. Justina and her family like to go out bush every weekend to spend time at places like Green Pool or Millstream. The bush and the colours of the country provide the inspiration for Justina’s paintings. “I like to paint because I go out bush a lot and I can express the experience of going bush in my paintings.”