About Smiley Williams - Sculptor & Painter

Smiley's work can be found in public places, gardens, homes, offices, boardrooms, museums and religious settings. He has taught sculpture, worked for many clients and has a reputation for quality and attention to detail. He has travelled extensively. Aside from public work he has produced a large body of personal work in sculpture, painting and drawing for exhibition.

"As a child, seeing reproductions of work by great artists and being struck with wonder that they could make such images, the seed was planted, and in my 20’s I became an artist. Similarly nature is a constant source of inspiration for me, a different magic, and is always a guide or reference point in everything I make."

"My work varies enormously as do the media I work in, because I respond differently to different subjects, situations and ideas, and all of it has altered over time. This is essential for me if I am to remain a participant in the deeply personal act of art. On a bad day I can’t even walk into the studio, on a good one I can’t leave. I believe that most artists have similar experiences."

After his initial art training Smiley worked in sculpture-casting foundries for 15 years. This was followed by a similar length period as a commercial sculptor for arts-related production companies, as well as film, theatre, television and puppetry. During all this time he continued to make his own work.

"Early in my training I discovered that I had a facility with sculpture, that volume and form came relatively easily to me. I knew I had a lot to learn but constant challenge only increased my enthusiasm. Painting grew out of a sculptural need. To better understand 3 dimensional space via drawing I decided to work with, and in, the landscape. Drawing gave way to painting."

"Painting in the landscape among the magpies and bull ants is a mad experience. Sometimes cold others windy or hot, all the while staying focused and passionate about my choice of subject. Studio work is never like this, but I love the chaos of it."

"If you ask me about anything I have made I am unlikely to give a simple answer, because every piece is different and has its own life, not entirely in my control. At a certain point when I stop struggling with a painting or sculpture it begins to make itself, and that is the magic."

Smiley works and lives in Melbourne, Australia.




  • 2004 Raffaello Carboni Sculpture, Eureka Park, Ballarat (Work in progress)
  • 2003 Johnny Mullagh Sculpture, Harrow, Western Victoria.
  • 2001 Rod Laver Sculpture, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne.
  • 1998 May Gibbs tribute at Drom Keen Children's Literature Park, Riddels Creek.
  • 1999 Co-sculptor of the Animal Parade, Children's Museum, Melbourne
  • 1996 Edwin Flack Memorial Sculpture, Berwick.

Professional Experience

  • Set sculptures for Australian Ballet
  • Created 'Horace', puppet for 'Horace and Tina'.  Jonathon Schiff Productions, Channel 10
  • Co-designer and Head Sculptor for Battle Scene within Eureka Stockade Centre, Ballarat.
  • Head Sculptor, Myer Christmas Windows, Melbourne, 1994 - 2004
  • Assistant Sculptor to Peter Nicholson on 'Rubbery Figures'
  • Created 37 puppets for TV comedy pilot 'GSTV' for Channel 7 Melbourne
  • 15 years experience in lost-wax sculpture foundries.
  • Taught Life Modelling, TAFE and private classes.
  • Artist in Residence, Gladstone Regional Arts Centre, Qld
  • Freelance Sculptor for commissions, museums, theatre, film, television, advertising and display - incorporating large and small works in a variety of mediums, and including puppets and caricature.


  • Australian Museum, Canberra.
  • Melbourne Museum.
  • Melbourne Sports Museum.
  • Artbank.
  • Private and corporate collections.


  • Various solo and group exhibitions of Sculpture, Drawing and Painting.