I’m using the medium to tell real stories that I feel don’t get told ... I want people to see who our youth really are; fun, playful, smart, savvy, proud, adventurous & witty.
Naomi Hobson is a Southern Kaantju/Umpila painter, ceramicist and photographer who lives in Coen, a small town of 360 people in the centre of Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland. Inspired by her direct environment, Hobson’s works express her ongoing connection to Country and her ancestors’ ties and relationships with their traditional lands.
Through her work, she references her family’s political and social engagements as well as her own personal engagement with her Country and community. Hobson’s recent photographic series Adolescent Wonderland, featured in the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Open Hands (2020) exhibition. In this series she is working to empower young people in her community, to encourage them to be themselves and to celebrate their uniqueness.
We have our culture, but we’re also in touch with the world now. Our young people are con dent, energetic and kind of up to date. Adolescent Wonderland is getting people to appreciate just being themselves.
Hobson’s family have been active in indigenous land rights and reform movements in the effort to return traditional lands and on social and economic reforms to her Cape York community of Coen. Through her art, Hobson continues her family tradition of political and social engagement.
Hobson’s work has been acquired by institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Bendigo Art Gallery and Cairns Art Gallery.