Samantha Hobson was born in 1981 at Lockhart River, Cape York, the northern most settlement of Eastern Australia. She began painting with the Lockhart River Art Gang at the age of 17, producing paintings of the land and reef that surround her traditional land. Her early paintings of visceral abstraction represent the violence and dysfunction of remote communities, while her follow up series of fire paintings, although literal, also engaged as a metaphor regarding the cataclysmic effects of violence in the community on the edge of paradise.
When I started ¦ I painted stuff that was happening to me ¦ some things were very bad ¦ I didn’t want to hide it ¦ I wanted to tell people what was happening to me and other young girls in my Community. I wanted to show my feelings and the hurt ¦ they were hard violent paintings ¦ most of them showed the bruises and the blood.
I wanted the paintings to say to people in my community ˜You don’t treat young girls like that ¦ they got the right to their life.’ I wanted to tell every person in my Community that I’d had enough.
I sent these paintings out for Exhibitions ¦ people need to know what’s happening. If you hide it away ¦ no one knows there’s a problem ¦ so how can they fix it?
Samantha has recently left the Lockhart River community and paints independently from her studio and home in Cairns. Hobson’s paintings in NGAYU AALMANA NGAACHI NGATANGKU “ GROWING UP WITH COUNTRY explore the country around, and culture within, Lockhart River. Painting from memory, she invites us to witness and share her vision of the land, the sea, and the reef of spawning coral. She continues to invoke an awareness of the toughness of life in the community through paintings such as Today Life 2008, and illustrates her respect for the old times, and traditional life and law, in paintings such as Ol’man Hide 2008.
Samantha held her first solo exhibition at the age of nineteen, and has since exhibited extensively both in Australia and internationally, most recently in the University of Queensland’s exhibition Our Way: Contemporary Art from Lockhart River touring Asia, Europe and America. She will also hold her first solo exhibition in London at October Gallery later this year. Her paintings are included in major national and international collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; and The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia, USA.
Since 2000, I’ve worked as a professional artist ¦ painting for solo and group exhibitions. It’s the only work I’ve ever done. It lets me express my life and Culture. It also helps me bring up my kids and look after my family (and pay the bills).
I’m very lucky for what I am today ¦ I couldn’t think how I’d be without my art work ¦ probably back in Lockhart River ¦ sitting around with no job ¦ getting busted up.
Exhibition Opening: 6pm “ 8pm WEDNESDAY 9 APRIL 2008
The artist will attend the opening.