Judy Watson – bandarra-gan chidna: strong woman track / track of strong women, 2019

CREATVEMOVE has recently published an informative resource to enhance the engagement and appreciation of a significant public artwork for the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade.

The book offers an extended background to the development of bandarra-gan chidna:strong woman track / track of strong women, a public art project developed by artist Judy Watson for the Lores Bonney Riverwalk, which was delivered as part of the Brisbane City Council’s Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade. The quality and rigour of this book is due to the artist herself, and our remarkable editor and producer, Dr Louise Martin-Chew, designer Amanda Burke, and our copy editor, Evie Franzidis. 

The publication (ISBN 9780646818061) is now lodged with the National Library of Australia NED e-deposit portal and is both accessible online and downloadable.


This book and the women’s biographies are a major achievement along with Judy’s artwork onsite. It will mean much to any researcher, interested party and a broader public wanting to find out more about the women of Brisbane and their contribution to our city. Themes and concepts for the public art in Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade were developed by CREATIVEMOVE from 2015-2017, working with Lendlease and the Kingsford Smith Design Joint Venture (KSDJV). A collaboration with the KSDJV including JACOBS and Lat27 resulted in a public art strategy for this landmark infrastructure project to recognise Brisbane’s rich and layered history. Global public art company, UAP, was subsequently contracted by Lendlease to deliver bandarra-gan chidna: strong woman track / track of strong women, with Judy Watson.

Judy has included an extensive list of acknowledgements to the many who have contributed to the book project and the public artwork, including Gaja Kerry Charlton, Prof Kay Saunders and Dr Ray Kerkhove. We thank them sincerely and acknowledge UAP, especially Amanda Harris, John Nicholson, Sophie Sachs and the UAP team; Judy’s representative gallery, Milani Gallery; and Craig Flood, Daniel Templeman and Lyla Nolan from the Brisbane City Council. 

Rarely does an artist’s public artwork receive such additional support dedicated towards its understanding. We recognise Council for this, thank everyone who has contributed to the book, especially Judy Watson, and hope it is widely accessed and appreciated.

Judy Watson is a Brisbane-based Waanyi artist who works across a range of mediums to explore familial, historical, political and environmental aspects of Australian Indigenous heritage and experience. Her matrilineal family is from country in North West Queensland. Highlights of her distinguished career include participation in the First Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery in 1993, co-representing Australia in the 1997 Venice Biennale and winning the Moet & Chandon Fellowship in 1995. She has been commissioned for numerous major public artworks including works permanently installed in the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, which opened in 2006. Her work is held in major Australian and International collections including the National Gallery of Australia and all of the Australian State Art Galleries, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, St Louis Art Museum, US and The British Museum, London as well as important private collections.