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Judy Watson, an Aboriginal descendant of the Waanyi people of north-west Queensland, has gained wide national and international recognition. She was one of three Australian Aboriginal women artists chosen to represent Australia in the 1997 Venice Biennale.
Trained in painting and printmaking in Australian art schools, much of her art is concerned with tracing ancestral roots. Some of her activities as a printmaker could be compared with charting topographical maps in which the cultural, spiritual and historical heritage of her people is recorded, almost like a visual parable which can be interpreted on many levels. In 1996 she noted: “What I love about the medium of lithography are the washes, quality of drawing and mark-making and the physicality it offers. I change the drawing through the rolling up/proofing stage, enriching it, pushing it back, deleting, playing with shadows. I enjoy the anticipation /surprise – I never know exactly how a wash will dry or how the image will come through the press. This process feeds my other work on canvas and paper, while more direct,these are still a case of finding and dissolving”.
Subject & Themes
Watson’s work often explores her connection with Waanyi country, the land of her grand-mother and great grand-mother but she is also interested in women’s issues, political issues and the environment. Guardian spirits.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Collection Canberra.
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
Ballarat Regional Art Gallery.
Bendigo Regional Art Gallery.
Brisbane City Hall Art Gallery.
Campbelltown City Art Gallery.
Canberra Institute of the Arts Library.
Downlands College, Queensland.
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education.
Goethe Institute, Melbourne.
Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Surfers Paradise, Queensland.
Griffith University, Brisbane.
James Cook University, Townsville.
James Hardy Collection.
Latrobe Valley Arts Centre.
Monash University, Clayton.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
National Museum of Australia, Canberra.
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery.
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
Queensland Institute of Technology.
Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
South Australia Museum, Adelaide.
State Library Brisbane.
St Ann’s and Gippsland Grammar School, Sale, Victoria.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
Tokyo National University of Technology.
University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.
1986 Bath Icons, Switchback Gallery, Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education, Churchill. 1988 Bloodline, Aboriginal Artists Gallery, Sydney.
1989 A Sacred Place For These Bones, Griffith University, Brisbane
1990 Ground Work, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.
1990 Ben Grady Gallery, Canberra.
1991 Under the Bloodwood Looking, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
1991 Deutscher, Brunswick Street, Melbourne.
1991 Inspiration – Expiration, Australian Girls Own Gallery, Canberra.
1992 Well-stone, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
1993 The Artist’s Studio, Art Gallery of New South Wales.
1993 Dropping Into Water Slowly, Australian Girls Own Gallery, Canberra.
1994 Bharat Bhavan Art Centre, Bhopal, India.
1994 Dhoomi mal Gallery, New Delhi, India.
1994 Edith Cowan University, Perth
1996 Australian Print Workshop
1979 Graduate Show, Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, Toowoomba.
1980 Young Queenslanders, Printmakers Gallery, Brisbane.
1980 Lillian Pederson Print Prize Exhibition, Queensland Art Gallery.
1981 Artists for Wilderness, Harrington Street Gallery, Hobart.
1982, Pacific Festival Exhibition, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1982, Graduate Show, School of Art Gallery, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
1982, Drawing Exhibition, Devonport Art Gallery.
1982, Detours by Tender Aliens, Long Gallery, Hobart.
1983 Women At Work, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1983 Pacific Festival Exhibition, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1983 Ralph Martin Gallery, Townsville.
1983 Australian Student Printmakers Travelling Exhibition, Australia and San Francisco.
1983 TAFE Instructors Exhibition, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1984 Pacific Festival Exhibition, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1984 Women At Work, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1984 Henry Worland Memorial Print Award, Warnambool Art Gallery.
1985 Pacific Festival Exhibition, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1985 Women At Work, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1985 SGIO Art Award, Brisbane.
1986 Art Resource Collective Women’s Show, Yinnar, Victoria.
1987 Working on Paper, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1987 Silvermine Guild Galleries, Connecticut.
1987 Miniature Print Biennale, John Szoke Graphics, New York.
1988 Urban Aboriginal Artists, Contemporary Art Centre, Adelaide.1988, Members Exhibition, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1988 A Contemporary Caste: A Homage to Women Artists in Queensland – Past and Present, Gold Coast City Art Gallery.
1988 National Women’s Art Award 1988, Centre Gallery, Gold Coast.
1989 Human Form – Spirit Form, Crafts Centre Gallery, Crafts Council of New South Wales. 1988 Indian Print Biennale, Bharat Bwavan, Roopankor Art Gallery, Bhopal
1989 A Koorie Perspective, Artspace, Sydney.
1989 Cross-Currents, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney.
1989 Big Works, Umbrella Studio, Townsville.
1990 Sun, Smoke and Steel, travelling print exhibition from Studio One, Canberra.
1990 More Than Meets the Eye, Yarramundi Visitors Centre, Canberra.
1990 Mitchelton Print Prize Touring Exhibition.
1990 Mornington Peninsula Print Prize, Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre.
1990 Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Australia 1990, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow.
1990 Art, Architecture and Tourism, Sheraton Hotel, Gold Coast, conference and exhibition. 1990 Aberdare Art Prize, Ipswich City Council Regional Art Gallery.
1990 Pacific Festival Invitation Exhibition, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1990 Alice Prize, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs.
1990 Our Business, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art, Sydney.
1990 You Came to my Country and You Didn’t Turn Black, Queensland Museum, Brisbane. 1990 Townsville Printmakers, Grahame Galleries, Brisbane.
1990 Urban Aboriginal Art, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney.
1990 Moet and Chandon Touring Exhibition.
1990 Amnesty Exhibition, Painters Gallery, Sydney.
1991 Aberdare Art Prize, Ipswich City Council Regional Gallery.
1991 Book as Art Object, Latrobe Valley Art Centre, Morwell.
1991 Through Women’s Eyes, ATSIC travelling exhibition.
1991 Aboriginal Women Artists, Art Gallery of NSW travelling exhibition.
1991 Frames of Reference: Aspects of Feminism and Art, Pier 4/5 Walsh Bay, Sydney.
1991 Melbourne Savages Print Club
1991 Melbourne Savages Print Club Exhibition, Bendigo Regional Gallery.
1991 Fremantle Print Prize.
1991 Transitional Times, Australian PrintWorkshop Gallery.
1991 Artists Books, Grahame Galleries, Brisbane.
1991 Affirmation of Heritage, Australian National Gallery, Canberra.
1991 Irons in the Fire, Women’s Legal Service Exhibition, McWhirters Artspace, Brisbane.
1991 Flash Pictures, National Gallery of Australia.
1991 Microcosm, Gary Anderson Gallery, Sydney.
1991 Seeing Green, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1991 Rules for Drawing, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
1992 Asia Print Exhibition: 6 x 6, Thailand.
1992 Moet and Chandon Touring Exhibition.
1992 Adelaide Biennial, of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia.
1992 SEVEN, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney.
1992 Crossroads-Towards a New Reality, Aboriginal Art from Australia, National Museums of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo.
1992 Works on Paper, Grahame Galleries, Brisbane.
1992 My Head is a Map, Contemporary Australian Prints, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1992 Look Again, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne.
1992/93 New Tracks Old Land: An Exhibition of Contemporary Prints from Aboriginal Australia, touring USA and Australia.
1993 Gold Coast City Art Prize.
1993 Arco Madrid Art Fair, Spain.
1993 March, Milburn Gallery, Brisbane.
1993 Group Show Bennala Gallery, Victoria.
1993 Wiyana/Perisferia (Periphery), Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Coo-operative, touring exhibition.
1993 RAKA Awards, Ian Potter Gallery, University of Melbourne.
1993 Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery.
1993 Prints and Works on Paper, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney.
1993 Australian Art Exhibition, Taiwan.
1993 Inner-Land, exhibition of Australia Contemporary Art, Gallery Lunami, Tokyo.
1993 Monotypes, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne.
1993 Commitments, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.
1993 Dreamtime, Vigado Gallery, Budapest.
1993 Present, Art and Nature, symposium and exhibition, Lillehammer Art Museum, Norway. 1993 Australian Perspecta 1993, Art Gallery of New South Wales.
1993 Bones and Crosses, Artspace, The Gunnery, Sydney.
1993 Identities: Art from Australia, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan.
1993 Continuity, Boomalli and Performance Space, Sydney.
1993/94 Poetics of Immanence, Canberra School of Art Gallery, ACT and touring.
1993/94 ARATJARA, Art of the First Australians, Touring: Kunstammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf; Hayward Gallery, London; Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark. 1994 Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria.
1994 Urban Focus, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1994 Yiribana, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1995 Contemporary Australian Women Artists from the Collections of the Toowoomba Art Gallery and the University of Southern Queensland, Dalby Regional Gallery, Queensland. 1995 Women Artists of North Queensland, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
1995 Women from the University of Southern Queensland Collection, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.
1995 Off the Wall-Art from the Very Eclectic Collection of Liverpool City Council, Casula Powerhouse Regional Arts Centre, Liverpool, Sydney.
1995 In the Company of Women, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth.
1995 Volatile Alliance: International Print Exhibition, Johannesburg
1995 Indigenous artists’ exhibition, Rotorua NZ.
1995 Crossing Borders, Toursing Exhibition USA.
1995 Right to Hope: Johannesburg Art Gallery, touring exhibition.
1995 Island to Island, Cheju Pre-Biennale, South Korea.
1996 Tracing the source: Aboriginal Women artists touring exhibition.
1996 Doris Hinzen Rowhrigh, Pinaree Sampitak and Judy Watson, National Gallery of Bangkok.
1997 Fluent, Venice Biennale.
Aboriginal Arts Management Association, 1990, Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990 – from Australia (presented by the Aboriginal Arts Committee, Australia Council and Third Eye Centre, Glasgow), exhib. cat., Redfern, New South Wales. (C)
Bonnin, M., 1990, ‘Judy Watson,’ Special Double Issue Artlink 10(1&2), 89. (C)
Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London. (C)
Courier Mail, 26/12/1989.”Perkins H. ‘Beyond the Year of Indigenous Peoples’ in Art and Australia 1993 Vol. 31 No. 1 p 98-101.
Langton, M., 1992-93 ‘The two women looked back over their shoulders & lamented leaving their country: detached comment (recent urban) & symbolic narrative (traditional), Aboriginal Art in the Public Eye, Art Monthly Australia Supplement, 7-9. (C)
1993, Aratjara, Art of the First Australians: Traditional and Contemporary Works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists, exhib. cat. (conceived and designed by Bernard Luthi in collaboration with Gary Lee), Dumont, Buchverlag, Koln. (C)
Neale, M., 1994, Yiribana, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. (C)
Smith, T. Rethinking Regionalism: Art in the Northern Territory, Art & Australia, Vol. 31, No. 4, Winter 1994.
Watson, J., ‘Judy Watson in Italy,’ Aboriginal Art in the Public Eye, Art Monthly Australia Supplement, 39. (C)
1989, A Koori Perspective, exhib. cat., Artspace, Sydney. (C)
1989, Australian Perspecta 1989, A Biennial Survey of Contemporary Australian Art, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. (C)
1992, ‘Aboriginal Art’, National Gallery News, 10th Birthday edition, September/October 1992, p. 5-7.
1993, Australian Perspecta 1993, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. (C)
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