Arts and Design

Young UQ curators light up artist’s hidden histories

Left to right: Isabella Baker, Judy Watson, Emma McLean. Image courtesy of UQ

Emerging UQ Art Museum curators have collaborated with prolific Brisbane-based artist Judy Watson to create a thought-provoking exhibition to run from Saturday 18 August 2018.

Judy Watson: concealed histories presents a selection of Watson’s etchings and paintings in The University of Queensland Art Collection that reveal hidden histories uncovered through her scientific research and studies of maps, archives and architectural drawings.

UQ student curators Isabella Baker and Emma McLean said Judy Watson, who belongs to the Waanyi people of northwest Queensland, provided invaluable guidance throughout the exhibition planning process.

“We were very fortunate to visit Judy’s studio and understand her working process before presenting our ideas for the exhibition and hearing her thoughts about the selected artworks,” Isabella said.

“Working with Judy on this exhibition has given us a deeper understanding of her commitment to research and collaboration and how she uses her art as a vehicle to give voice to histories otherwise underrepresented or silenced.”

Emma said Judy’s work had the ability to draw viewers in before making them aware of pervasive and layered messages.

“Judy offers an incredible perspective on human experiences within historical and environmental contexts, and the works we’ve selected speak of environmental harms, racial tensions, and international events that shape history,” Emma said.

According to Judy, Isabella and Emma are part of the future wave of curators who will share our stories and histories through the exhibitions they curate.

“It’s been fantastic working with Isabella and Emma – I really like the choices they’ve made for this exhibition and appreciate their enthusiasm for the work,” Judy said.

“I know how important it is to be supported at this earlier stage of your career and I admire UQ Art Museum for empowering young curators with a show like this.

“For any exhibition, the artist is just one part of the complicated web of people working together, from curators, designers and registration, through to the install team. I’m pleased to have been part of the curators’ professional development for this project and I hope they take the experience with them into their future careers.”

Judy Watson: concealed histories is showing at the UQ Art Museum from 18 August 2018 to 25 November 2018.

Source: UQ

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