Artist draws on family pain for better future
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.
Young artist Kiya Watts says she has reconnected with her indigenous culture through her paintings.