Artist draws on fam­ily pain for bet­ter fu­ture

Great Southern Herald - - News - Saskia Adysti

Grow­ing up the daugh­ter of a Stolen Gen­er­a­tion sur­vivor, Kiya Watts says her paint­ings have helped her re­con­nect with her in­dige­nous back­ground.

Watts said she didn’t get the chance to learn about her in­dige­nous cul­ture when she was young, partly be­cause of the trauma she said her dad suf­fered from be­ing torn away from his fam­ily.

But af­ter hav­ing chil­dren of her own, the 25-year-old in­dige­nous artist de­cided to learn more about her back­ground.

“My dad didn’t get the chance to learn his cul­ture and he didn’t know his own bi­o­log­i­cal fam­ily,” Watts said.

“I now have three kids of my own and I re­ally want them to grow up know­ing their back­ground and be proud of their in­dige­nous her­itage.” Af­ter learn­ing about in­ter­gen­er­a­tional trauma and re­con­nect­ing with long-lost fam­ily mem­bers in Al­bany, Watts learnt that she came from gen­er­a­tions of in­dige­nous artists.

She then de­cided to dab­ble with a se­ries of in­dige­nous dot paint­ings and has re­ceived glow­ing reviews from art crit­ics around the State.

“I started dot paint­ings as a hobby only about a year ago,” Watts said. “The whole process can be re­ally time-con­sum­ing, but I find it very peace­ful and I feel like this is what I am sup­posed to be do­ing. It’s been a real heal­ing process for me.”

Watts’ paint­ings are sold all over WA and she has also been se­lected to work at the new Mokare pro­ject at Ali­son Hart­man Gar­dens.

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Benson

Young artist Kiya Watts says she has re­con­nected with her in­dige­nous cul­ture through her paint­ings.

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