Judy Watson
selected works
Djalkiri: We are standing on their names : Blue Mud Bay (2010)

Djalkiri: We are standing on their names : Blue Mud Bay (2010) – a Nomad Art Production project.
Production team: Angus and Rose Cameron, Nomad Art Productions; Glen Wightman, ethnobiologist; Basil Hall, Basil Hall Editions; Professor Howard Morphy, ANU; Peter Eve, Photographer.
Artists: Djambawa Marawili AM, Fiona Hall, Liyawaday Wirrpanda, John Wolseley, Marrirra Marawili, Jörg Schmeisser, Marrnyula Mununggurr, Judy Watson, Mulkun Wirrpanda.

Judy Watson produced five etchings produce for the Djalkiri: We are standing on their names : Blue Mud Bay project.

blue mud bay / kurrajong disc sea rights / 1 sea rights 2 / baniyala, blue mud bay / names of natives
etchings printed by Basil Hall Editions in editions of 40 on Hanhemühle paper 64.5 x 53.5 cm with BHE blindstamp/chop.

Suite of five $3,500.00|
Single etchings $775.00 except names of natives $880.00



blue mud bay

blue mud bay (2010)
Etching with 3 plates.
Overlay – map with names of places and blue wash. 
The Blue Mud Bay case was the name given to the 2008 case (Northern Territory v Arnhem Land Aboriginal Land Trust). The NT position was rejected by the High Court of Australia.

kurrajong, disc sea rights

kurrajong, disc sea rights 1 (2010)
Etching with 3 plates.
Overlay – first page of the Sea Rights document.
On 30 July 2008 the High Court of Australia confirmed that traditional owners of the Blue Mud Bay region in north-east Arnhem Land, together with traditional owners of almost the entire Northern Territory coastline, have exclusive access rights to tidal waters overlying Aboriginal land.

sea rights 2

sea rights 2 (2010)
Etching with 3 plates.
Overlay – second page of the Sea Rights document, stating that the Aboriginal community had won against the N.T. Government and the Department of Fisheries in maintaining their Rights. A historic decision.

baniyala, blue mud bay

baniyala, blue mud bay (2010)
Etching with 2 plates.
Overlay – Robert Brown’s diary from Matthew Flinders’ expedition to Blue Mud Bay.

names of natives

names of natives (2010)
Etching with 3 plates.
Overlay – names of places.
Judy Watson: ‘I collected the small discarded plastic central form in the work at Yilpara. It resembles a bunch of grapes and would have contained a sweet cordial. I also collected the baler shell on the local beach, as well as the ring pull in the bottom left, the mangrove stick in the top left, that reminded me of a buffalo like the ones that we heard moving around our bush camp. In the bottom left are walnut shells from a local tree and in the bottom right a piece of curved bark.
Glenn Wightman, a botanist who was on the artist camp with us would tell us the scientific names as well as the local Aboriginal name and uses for the various plants the artists were picking up. He learnt a lot from the local Aboriginal people at the communities he was working at.
Overlaid on the hand drawn sugar lift visual elements is a page from Robert Brown’s diary. He was a naturalist who was on Matthew Flinders’ boat, The Investigator, when it arrived in Blue Mud Bay in February 1803. A local Aboriginal man who was brought onto the boat supplied Brown with the names of local Aboriginal people hence ’the names of natives’. In fact one of the names, Woaka, was the ancestor of one of the Aboriginal men, Wäka Mununggurr, we met at this place, who had the same name.
Because the Yolgnu people here had such good records of the geographic maps in language, including the names for different bodies of water and people’s names inscribed into the land, this was used as evidence in the case for Sea Rights for the local people against the Department of Fisheries and N.T. Government. The local Yolgnu clans won their case, which was a very significant victory. Flinders met a Macassan Captain whose name had been swapped and given to a local Yolgnu man in Blue Mud Bay’.

Images © Judy Watson