Judy Watson

1959 - Stake 2010
  • pigment, acrylic, acquarelle and chinagraph pencil
195 cm x 209 cm

Judy Watson has described her experiences of travelling to her great-grandmother's country in north-west Queensland, as 'learning from the ground up'. It is a philosophy she has transplanted on her several journeys and residencies abroad. In 1997 she represented Australia at the Venice Biennale, along with Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Yvonne Koolmatrie.

Through her art, Watson repatriates the human artefacts and objects of collected cultures in museum storehouses, and reveals the 'skeletons' in colonial 'closets': 

I listen and hear those words a hundred years away. That is my Grandmother's Mother's Country. It seeps down through blood and memory and soaks into the ground.

Source: Hetti Perkins in 'Tradition today: Indigenous art in Australia', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2014

© Judy Watson/Copyright Agency, 2018


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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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