3 March - 22 April 2023
“Today photography needs to push the boundary. I feel it doesn’t need to be picture perfect and as a fine art – I’m using the medium to tell real stories that I feel don’t get told or haven’t been told. I want people to see who our youth really are: fun, playful, smart, savvy, proud, adventurous and witty.” – Naomi Hobson
Naomi Hobson is a Southern Kaantju/Umpila woman who lives in Coen, a small town of 360 people in the centre of Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland. A multidisciplinary artist, she regularly works across the mediums of painting, ceramics and photography. Inspired by her immediate 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. In Hobson’s photographic series Adolescent Wonderland, she is working to empower young people in her community, to encourage them to be themselves and to celebrate their uniqueness.
Adolescent Wonderland is a series of photographs that tell the real-life stories of young Aboriginal people in remote Australia. The title of this series was inspired by the classic children’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Themes of youth, playfulness and childhood memories are evident in Hobson’s photographs. The brightly coloured figures and their props lure the viewer into a dream-like reality, much like the way Alice follows the white rabbit.
“I think young people are getting crazy adventurous with all the apps and photo settings in their mobile phones. This is certainly highlighting their personal characters. They’re just really connecting with how they want to share their story ... Young people are so advanced in using technology and they also love getting their photos taken, but let them show you their story, their way; that’s what Adolescent Wonderland is all about.” – Naomi Hobson