Naomi Hobson lives and works in Coen, a remote Indigenous community in Cape York, where she plays an important role as an artist, mentor and creative inspiration. Adolescent Wonderland comprises a new body of photographic portraits that establishes new narratives around black representation, identity and gender in Coen.
In Coen our young people are not just engrossed with living a quiet life based on ancient cultures and beliefs. In reality there is a search for a much deeper engagement with the world. What I see is a pop-culture fusion.
Our young people are immersed in global social media, so they have a much broader sense of a global culture than every generation before them. There is a constant and persistent search in Coen by young people of ‘how to be’ in this world. What this series explores is how pop culture and indigenous culture are fusing and allowing the inherent energy and youth of our young people to express their individuality.
I am applying the after-effects to focus the attention towards the subjects in their transition between childhood and adulthood, where the subjects are still finding themselves through adventure and playfulness. They have not yet let go of their childhood. Naomi Hobson, April 2019
This project is an initiative of the Cairns Art Gallery. It has received financial assistance from the Queensland Government through the Arts Queensland Backing Indigenous Arts initiative and is supported by Kalan Enterprises, Coen, Cape York.
Image: Naomi HOBSON, Road Play "She told mum she was taking me for a ride down the road but she not." Laine 2019, digital print, 81 x 110 cm. Courtesy of the artist