experimental beds (2012)
exhibition 26 May – 30 June 2012
6 colour etchings – plate 49.5 x 37.5 cm
published in editions of 20 on Hahnemühle paper 70.0 x 54.0 cm
editions: 10 suites – all 6 etchings $8,000
single etchings – experimental beds 1 $1,800 ; experimental beds 2 – 6 $1,650 ea.
published by Judy Watson, grahame galleries + editions/numero uno publications and The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, University of Virginia (UVa)
experimental beds 1 (2012)
3-plate etching with chine collé
Left profile: Aboriginal Artist/Activist, Richard Bell, with whom Watson shared a studio in Brisbane. Right profile: Lindsey T. Jackson, an African American woman, who lives in Brisbane and has family in Virginia. (Profiles repeated in experimental beds 5). Vegetables including squash are from Monticello’s ‘experimental beds’. Archaeological finds incorporated in etching include a cowrie shell, ring and a coin with unknown figurehead on obverse. Hair-like threads refer experimental beds 5. Architectural drawing is of The Rotunda, First Floor Plan and is repeated in experimental beds 6.
experimental beds 2 (2012)
The architectural drawing used here Pavilion No. III W. Corinthian Palladio is repeated in experimental beds 5. Images of nails from archaeological digs dominate. The etching includes drawings of charcoal kilns from the era of the nailery.
experimental beds 3 (2012)
The elk antlers drawing, which forms the centrepiece of both experimental beds 3 and 5, is of antlers collected by Lewis and Clarke during their expedition. They now hang in Monticello’s Entrance Hall. Artefacts referencing slave presence: nails from the nailery, a bucket handle, shards of pottery and hooks and fasteners from slave women’s dresses. Hooks and fasteners allude to the sexual exploitation of enslaved women by white men on the plantations. These images are overlaid with the drawing of Pavilion VII W. Doric Palladio.
experimental beds 4 (2012)
Jefferson’s drawing of Library, Elevation of the Rotunda forms the centrepiece.
experimental beds 5 (2012)
At Watson’s solo exhibition, waterline (2011), held at the Australian Embassy in Washington, she met Eve Ferguson, an African American woman. The shape, top-middle, is inspired by the back of Ferguson’s hair. Hair-like threads appear as connecting lines here and in experimental beds 1. Hair carries DNA and is often seen as a trace of somebody’s presence/absence. Elk antlers (refer experimental beds 3). Profiles (refer experimental beds 1). Architectural drawing (refer experimental beds 2). Archaeological artefacts (refer experimental beds 2 and 4).
experimental beds 6 (2012)
2-plate etching with chine collé
Architectural drawing (refer experimental beds 1).
Architectural drawings courtesy Jefferson Papers of the University of Virginia, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
All images © Judy Watson