Exciting new First Nations Fashion Design (FNFD) collaboration coming soon.

JUDY WATSON | 'A Preponderance of Aboriginal Blood' | Limited edition book

Regular price $66.00

Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.
This new publication introduces Judy Watson's 2005 limited edition artist book a preponderance of aboriginal blood to a wider readership.
Publisher: Grahame Galleries & Editions
'a preponderance of aboriginal blood' is an artist’s book confronting the history of official and legal discrimination against Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders in Queensland.It was commissioned by the State Library of Queensland in 2005 for the exhibition sufferance: women’s artists’ books to celebrate the centenary of women’s voting rights in Queensland. Its sixteen sheets present copies of electoral enrolment statutes from the Queensland State Archives, which classified whether a person was a ‘full-blood Aborigine’ (and therefore not entitled to vote) or a ‘half-caste’ (entitled to vote). The title, a preponderance of aboriginal blood, refers to Aboriginality on both sides of the family and, at that time, was acceptable legal terminology used to deny Aboriginal people their right to vote. Full voting rights were not granted to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in Queensland until 1965. Watson first heard the term a preponderance of aboriginal blood in a lecture given by Loris Williams and Margaret Reid on voting rights for Indigenous Queensland people in 2005. The lecture compelled her to make the work. The archival material that Watson has extracted is inextricably intertwined with the devastating social, physical and emotional impacts that it has had on generations of Australians. Degrees of blood were the measure by which the Queensland Government sanctioned discrimination against Aboriginal people, so Watson overlays copies of the official departmental documentation with etched ink stains resembling blood. The stains manifest the operations by which the state manipulated definitions and categories of race to its own political ends, while also embodying the pain and suffering of people denied their human rights. For Watson, the ‘beautiful and old fashioned’ aesthetic of the archival texts belie their ‘horrible content’, designed to control Aboriginal people and deny them the civil rights extended to the rest of the population. Layering the archival records of individuals who are documented in terms of their ‘preponderance of Aboriginal blood’ with the inked traces of that blood brings together the personal and the political in a manner that is more than a glib statement – it makes no bones about the systematic and official discrimination that underlies Australian history and the experience of generations of Aboriginal Australians.
This second edition book contains reproductions of the 15 etchings from Watson’s 2005 limited edition artist book.
The 9 page 1897 Queensland Act of Parliament ‘The Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act’. An 8 page essay ‘the wounds of the repressed’ by freelance writer and curator Michele Helmrich. A foldout Queensland Timeline listing:
• a selection of white townships from the establishment of Brisbane in 1825 to the turn of the century.
• a selection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands missions and reserves established from 1838 to the closure of the last mission in 1987.
• some Acts and decisions impacting on Aboriginal peoples in Queensland 1825 to 1967.

Published in a limited edition of 1,000 in 2019