Judy Watson, an Aboriginal descendant of the Waanyi people of north-east 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.”
Biography courtesy of The Australian Art Print Network, 2001.