Born 1959 Mundubbera, Queensland. Waanyi people. Lives and works in Brisbane.
a preponderance of aboriginal blood, 2005
artists book, 16 etchings with chine colle
UTS Art Collection, purchased 2007
‘I was compelled to make this series of works after listening to a lecture by Loris Williams and Margaret Reid at the University of Queensland on Indigenous people and the Right to Vote in Queensland. I heard Loris use the term ‘a preponderance of aboriginal blood’ and I knew what I was going to make the work about. I dedicated this artist’s book to Loris and I’m sorry she never got to see it completed.
Loris sent me material from her lecture and Margaret Reid sent me copies of some of the original documents in the archives. It is this material, that is so potent and so oppressive, that is the work. Its heaviness dictates an era of constriction and control for all Aboriginal people caught within its web. My dedication goes not only to Loris and Margaret but to all those writers, artists, researchers, educators, and librarians etc who have helped to reveal the whitewash of our history.
The matrilineal side of my family is Aboriginal; our country is in northwest Queensland. My father’s family have Scottish and English ancestry. I fit somewhere in between, I am Indigenous and non-Indigenous. I embody the notion of two cultural frameworks occupying the same cultural space.
Because this material from the archives already has a latent power, I didn’t want to change this very much. Its leakage onto the printed page is enough. My background is as a printmaker, so it was a natural progression to work with this medium for the artist’s book.’
- Judy Watson, artist’s statement