Naomi Hobson knows that she would not be the person she is today if it wasn’t for all of those who came before her. Coming from a township of less than 400 people in rural Queensland, her family’s connection is with the land around Lockhart River, including its vast rainforests and its wide open country. This connection has travelled through to Hobson, who finds great inspiration in her hometown of Coen. It’s this inspiration that she has drawn upon for her latest works, to be exhibited at Art Mob from December 15th until December 24th.
All of Hobson’s work is dynamic and eye catching. She is unreserved in her use of colour, the depth and variety of which always gives you something more to look at. Each painting tells of both her and her family’s social and political history, connecting her identity to that of the people who have come before her. Her work shows an abstract connection to this history and the land; colours of sunrises are recaptured on canvas, and the contours of the Great Dividing Range make recurring appearances in her paintings.
The connection to the land and her family’s history has endured throughout Hobson’s artistic career. Her family was very active in developing and maintaining environmental protections in the area, never ones to shy away from politics; her work blends this political and social activism, with her identity to show her own relationship with the land.
While her childhood home may be of great inspiration to her, so is the natural landscape of the region. She is most comfortable creating her work in these familiar landscapes, like the dry riverbeds around Coen, the banks of her childhood fishing places, and the campsites she has been visiting since she was a child. Though she seeks such inspiration in many forms, she is always sure to inject her own individuality onto the canvas.
This approach to her work has served her well; Hobson has been a finalist for the Telstra Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards three times, and won the 39th Alice Price: National Contemporary Art Award in 2016, amongst a slew of other prizes and awards. Her work has been showcased internationally, and sold out at exhibitions in Melbourne.
In her inaugural Tasmanian exhibition, Hobson is bringing ten works to Art Mob. Running from December 15th until the 24th at 29 Hunter Street, Hobart, she is offering a view into far-north Queensland through this vibrant body of work.