Judy WATSON, heartland Enlarge 1 /1

Judy WATSON

Waanyi people

Mundubbera, Queensland, Australia born 1959

heartland 1991 Place made: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, powder pigments, pastel on canvas

Dimensions: 177.0 h x 138.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1991
Accession No: NGA 91.828
Provenance:
  • Purchased by the Australian National Gallery, from aGOG (Australian Girls Own Gallery), Canberra, October 1991;
  • From the exhibition, ''Judy Watson: prints, drawings paintings', Canberra: aGOG, 25 May-13 June 1991, cat. no., 3.

Dense layers of pigment form the foundation of heartland 1991. Above is a score of red dashes that gently twirl across the surface, to and away from the oval-like form that sits near the centre. The oval core emanates an incandescent glow, a life force that is ‘visceral’[1] and expansive in its subtle push and pull at the space around it. The power of heartland is immediate.

‘It’s this haze of spiralling forms,’ Watson says:

It could be a dust storm or heat haze and then it’s [the layers, the ground, have] just been peeled back and you see the organism that is the country underneath, pulsating like a heart ... [2]

Judy Watson was working in Canberra when she painted heartland, after a return to her traditional country at Lawn Hill Gorge, north-west Queensland, in 1990. The painting embodies the spirit of connection and the continuing presence of Watson’s ancestors in the land. Inherently feminine, the work traces the artist’s links to Waanyi country—her country, her mother’s country, her mother’s mother’s country and so on, to a time when mother and country were one.

heartland is awash with pigment that has been methodically laid and re-laid; it is a ‘tactile map’.[3] This attention to detail, or process, is a distinguishing feature of Watson’s practice and reflects her training as a printmaker. The scrubbing back of layers of pigment imitates the rubbing and manipulation of a lithographic stone’s smooth surface; and the pooling of water on canvas resembles water settling on stone.

Through her art, Judy Watson explores notions of identity, the relationship to land, and the experiences of Aboriginal people, past and present. heartland forms part of this tradition.

Carly Lane

[1] J Watson and L Martin-Chew, Judy Watson: blood language, Miegunyah Press, Melbourne, 2009, p 46.

[2] H Perkins, ‘Judy Watson in conversation’, in H Perkins and M West (eds), One sun one moon: Aboriginal art in Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2007, p 309.

[3] W Caruana, Aboriginal art, Thames & Hudson, London, 1993.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Franchesca Cubillo and Wally Caruana (eds) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art: collection highlights National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2010

朱迪·沃森 (Judy WATSON)
澳大利亚首都领地堪培拉
《心脏地带》(heartland)
1991年
帆布材料,颜料粉,粉蜡笔
177.0(高) x 138.0(宽)厘米
1991年购买
收录号:NGA 91.828

《心脏地带》创作于1991年,致密颜料层构成画基。上面是二十抹红色,轻轻旋转,掠过表面,转向和转离位于中心附近像椭圆的图案。椭圆核心散发出耀眼光芒,发自‘内脏’ [1]的生命力,有力地推拉周围空间。《心脏地带》的力量立即彰显无遗。

‘这就是螺旋式运动形式所造成的烟尘,’沃森解释道:

它可能是一场沙尘暴或热霾,它[云层、大地、阴霾]就那样揭开,您可以看见的机体就是下面的乡村,像心脏一样搏动……[2]

1990年,朱迪·沃森回了昆士兰州西北草地山峡谷(Lawn Hill Gorge)的家乡后,创作了《心脏地带》,她当时在堪培拉工作。画作体现了精神纽带和沃森祖先在这片土地上的继续存在。作品表现出固有的女性特质,追溯艺术家与家乡瓦安依(Waanyi)的联系——她的家乡、妈妈的家乡、妈妈的妈妈的家乡,依此类推,直到妈妈和家乡合为一体。

《心脏地带》充满有条不紊地铺设又再铺设的颜料;是一张‘触觉地图’[3]。这种对细节,或过程的关注,是沃森绘画的显著特征,反映了她的版画家素养。对颜料层的擦洗模仿了印版石光滑表面的打磨和处理;帆布上的积水看似水落石上。

通过艺术,朱迪·沃森探索身份概念、与土地的关系以及土著人过去与现在的经历。《心脏地带》是这一风格的组成部分。

Carly Lane
卡莉·莱恩

[1]J·沃森和L·马丁-周,《朱迪·沃森:血液语言》,墨尔本:Miegunyah出版社,2009年,第46页。
[2]H·珀金斯,‘交谈中的朱迪·沃森’,H·珀金斯和M·韦斯特(编),《一个太阳一个月亮:澳大利亚土著艺术》,新南威尔士州美术馆,悉尼,2007年,第309页。
[3]W·卡鲁阿那,《土著艺术》,伦敦:泰晤士河和哈德逊,1993年。


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra