Willie Williams works with light and visual media to create installations and performance environments. His combination of hi-tech media and lo-tech eccentricity first received acclaim through his work with U2, particularly the "Zoo TV" tour (1992-93) and the"U2360" tour (2009-11). Williams' work with R.E.M., David Bowie and George Michael has also been highly regarded as being both conceptually and technologically groundbreaking.
Williams has collaborated with Kronos Quartet, most notably on "Sun Rings", an evening-length multimedia production commissioned by NASA. Other work in the performing arts field includes designing for the legendary Montréal based dance company La La La Human Steps, a scenic design for Marianne Faithfull and most recently a collaboration with Laurie Anderson.
In the Spring of 2012 he was invited to act as a consultant on the motion picture Now You See Me, designing the lighting and live effects for the live show sequences of the film, which is due for release in early 2013.f
Williams was delighted to collaborate with Complicite for their production of The Master and Maragrita at the Barbican, London and at the Avignon Festival 2012. Other theatre projects include lighting and video scenery for French & Saunders, the "Little Britain Live" tour and also "Pam Ann" at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London. He designed the lighting and video content for the musical "We Will Rock You" playing at theatres worldwide and also for "Barbarella" at the Raimund Theatre, Vienna.
In July 2007 his gallery installation "Lumia Domestica" debuted at the Turnpike Gallery in Greater Manchester, with further shows following in London and Dublin. In 2006 Williams became an associate artist of London's Southbank Centre, creating an ongoing series of outdoor lighting installations at Festival Hall, the Hayward Gallery & Queen Elizabeth Hall. Previous public works include a lighting installation within Canterbury Cathedral and a permanent exhibit at Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum. He has a longstanding interest in photography and was recently made a member of the Honorary Campaign Council of The Photographers' Gallery, Soho.
Williams has been honored by his peers many times, including picking up three awards at the 2010 Total Production Awards in London ("Live Production of the Year", "Lighting Designer of the Year" and "Video Visionary"). He received the Redden Award for Excellence in Design in October of 2009. His video staging design for George Michael's "25 Live" Tour received the design award from New York's 'Live Design' magazine in 2008. Time magazine profiled Williams' work in September 2006 and Metropolitan Home magazine featured him in their “Design 100” issue, May 2006. The George Michael stage was also included in the Creative Review annual in Spring 2007 where it was awarded 'best in book'. He was awarded 'Lighting Designer of the Year' at the Total Production International Awards, London, in both 2006 and 2003. He received two nominations at the 2004 "Green Room" theatre awards in Melbourne, Australia. "Live!" magazine named him Designer of the Year for 2002 and in 2001 he received an "EDDY" award in New York for excellence in entertainment design. Wired Magazine ranked him as one of the "Top 25 visionaries in entertainment” in 2000. 'Lighting Dimensions International' awarded him "Designer of the Year" in 1992, as did Performance Magazine in both 1992 and 1987.
"Willie Williams combines a passionate delight in technology with an infectious low tech joy. His innovations have become industry standards." - William Gibson, Wired magazine, August 2005