21 June – 7 July 2024 View Events View map
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JUDY WATSON, HAZEM HARB, EM BERRY

JUDY WATSON, HAZEM HARB, EM BERRY

Judy Watson has invited Palestinian artist Hazem Harb to participate as part of three projections for BIG CITY LIGHTS*.

Her new work ‘gauze, wound, wrap’, 2024, includes images of muslin that she has dyed and painted in her studio and on locations on Country in Australia. Other imagery of water vessels, painted surfaces, scenes from places she has recently travelled through and of the tide coming in are montaged together. Her use of muslin (gauze) led to Tate Curator, Hera Chan, sending Watson images of Hazem’s work using this fabric. Hera also sent Judy the poem ‘Because of Us’ by Em Berry.

Judy’s use of muslin references the thin, transparent material being used to wrap bodies and wounds. In a previous moving image work, ‘the witness tree’, Watson wrapped muslin (gauze) around trees that overlooked the Myall Creek massacre site in NSW, Australia, where defenceless Aboriginal men, women and children were herded together and massacred by white perpetrators. ‘gauze, wound, wrap’ speaks of our collective experience and the threads that bind us to each other.

The video includes maps of Palestine, old grinding stones, running water from her Waanyi Country and other places around the world, a cooking vessel, whip demonstrations from her cousin Mark Isaacson, image of pro Palestinian demonstrations in Amsterdam, other scenes and imagery witnessed and recorded by Judy on recent travels. Her artworks are laid beneath all of these, including the ‘vale of tears’ which has some names of Aboriginal deaths in custody beneath muslin sewn with scars.

Artists

JUDY WATSON

Judy Watson was born in Mundubbera, Queensland. Judy Watson’s Aboriginal matrilineal family is from Waanyi country in north-west Queensland. The artist’s process evolves by working from site and memory, revealing Indigenous histories, following lines of emotional and physical topography that centre on particular places and moments in time.
Spanning painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture and video, her practice often draws on archival documents and materials, such as maps, letters and police reports, to unveil institutionalised discrimination against Aboriginal people. Exhibiting extensively since the 1980s, Watson co-represented Australia at the 1997 Venice Biennale and won the Works on Paper Award at the 23rd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award in 2006. She was also the recipient of the National Gallery of Victoria’s 2006 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award. In 2011, Watson’s exhibition waterline was shown at the Embassy of Australia in Washington DC, and in 2012, she exhibited in the Sydney Biennale. In 2018, the Art Gallery of New South Wales staged a major exhibition of her work titled the edge of memory. Watson has also received commissions for several public art projects across Australia, including fire and water at Reconciliation Place in Canberra in 2007, ngarunga nangama: calm water dream at 200 George St in Sydney in 2016, and in the same year, tow row for the Gallery of Modern Art’s 10th Anniversary in Brisbane. A significant survey exhibition of her work will open in 2024 at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. Her work is also included in several significant Australian and international collections, including all of Australia’s state institutions, the National Gallery of Australia, the Tokyo National University of Technology, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the British Museum, and MCA/ TATE. Watson is an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, and in 2018, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Art History by the University of Queensland.

EM BERRY

write it up / write it down /
Em Berry is an independent writer, poet and artist from Aotearoa, New Zealand. By way of everywhere.
A gritty and accessible wordsmith taking a revised approach to literature and content creation — one that demystifies the practice of storytelling without smashing the fourth wall entirely.
Copywriter, editor and writer for hire, Em is experienced in virtually all modes of written word, but her first (and most enduring) love is poetry. Em reckons poets, artists are the true history keepers.

Writing to comfort some and disrupt others, Em’s work draws upon life experience as a traveler, rebel, reject and muse— embracing feministic, decolonial themes to create work that is thoughtful, compelling and gnarly.

HAZEM HARB

Visual artist Hazem Harb's trajectory, spanning several decades, maintains an unwavering dialogue with his symbolically charged homeland.
Moving from Gaza to Rome to receive his MFA at The European Institute of Design, and then on to the UAE, Harb has learnt to navigate life as a liminal space. Knowing that his place of origin can never be just a 'land', the artist unleashes an ever-evolving repertoire of artistic techniques to negotiate a space which has been carved up and re-drawn many times. His art is at once subsumed in deep locality, fuelled by personal insight, and entangled in conversations that cannot be easily separated from the global arena.
His practice is intended more as visual excavation than romanticisation of the Other, and through it, we can explore the paradoxical and pressured relations between people and places. Steering away from nostalgia and the fetishisation of displacement, he draws from academia, architecture, as well as European art traditions, to negotiate an axis of complex social and cultural relations; built and natural environments, longing and belonging.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSJudy Watson would like to acknowledge BIG CITY LIGHTS* for commissioning the project, Milani Gallery, curator Hera Chan
my dealer gallery for my work and also curator Hera Chan for alerting me to your work with gauze and the poem ‘Because of Us’ by Em Berry @skinhungry about connections between gauze and Gaza. I will also credit you Hazem for your piece in the project.

Free Event

Nerang StreetSouthport CBD QLD 4215

Friday 21 Jun5PM – 9:30PM
Saturday 22 Jun5PM – 9:30PM
Sunday 23 Jun5PM – 9:30PM
Friday 28 Jun5PM – 9:30PM
Saturday 29 Jun5PM – 9:30PM
Sunday 30 Jun5PM – 9:30PM
Friday 05 Jul5PM – 9:30PM
Saturday 06 Jul5PM – 9:30PM
Sunday 07 Jul5PM – 9:30PM
All times are QLD AEST

  • Free Event

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