An image of red tides

Judy Watson

(Australia 1959 – )

Community
Brisbane, North-east region
Language group
Waanyi, Gulf region

red tides

Location
Not on display
Further information

The title comes from newspaper reports of red algae blooms appearing in Sydney Harbour because of too much nitrogen in the water. Watson associated the deadly red blooms with whaling and the sites of Aboriginal massacres where the waters turned red with blood. The work was created for the 1997 Biennale in Venice, another water city where the 'sound of the water is everywhere, especially at high tide, you can hear the waves against the buildings, licking history away'. Her work is about 'memories washing over me', whether the tidal flow of stories from her grandmother's country in Queensland or the history of her Sydney Harbour home - the recurring wash of private and public memory.

Peter Emmett, 'Sydney: metropolis, suburb, harbour', 2000

Place of origin
Queensland, Australia
Year
1997
Media
Painting
Medium
pigment and pastel on canvas
Dimensions
186.0 x 120.0 cm
Credit
Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1999
Accession number
100.1999
Copyright
© Judy Watson. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney