Judy Watson is a highly respected artist of Waanyi descent, born in Mundubbera, Queensland in 1959. Watson has created an impressive body of work across various mediums, including painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation, and public art. Her artworks often reflect the complex history of Aboriginal people in Australia, as well as the relationship between Aboriginal people and the land.
After studying at the University of Queensland, Watson began exhibiting in the early 1980s, with her works often exploring her ancestral connections to the Waanyi people of North-West Queensland. She has since exhibited widely in Australia and internationally, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, and the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver.
Watson's works are held in numerous public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the Queensland Art Gallery. In 1995, she was awarded the Moët & Chandon Australian Art Fellowship and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003 for her services to the visual arts sector.
In recent years, Watson has continued to produce powerful artworks that address issues of displacement and dispossession. She has also collaborated on a number of public art projects, including the design of the permanent artwork "Tow Row" for the Sydney Harbour foreshore, which was completed in 2019. Through her art, Watson has become a significant voice for Aboriginal Australians, and her work has helped to raise awareness and understanding of the rich cultural heritage of First Nations People.