In these personal intergenerational portraits, Naomi Hobson shares an affectionate representation of Kaantju and Umpila boys, guys and elders from her group. Adorned in vivid bouquets identified in their hometown of Coen in significantly north Queensland, these ‘warriors without a weapon’ share the cultural practice of decorating their beards in planning of ceremony and to reclaim authorship about how they are represented in the public domain.
Studio portraits of Indigenous peoples have historically been taken by non-Indigenous photographers nevertheless, in this emotive collection, the way of their gaze subtly displays Hobson’s kinship lines among herself and the topics.
Associated: Indigenous Australian artwork
The photographic series A Warrior without the need of a Weapon 2018 aims to split detrimental stereotypical representations of Australian Indigenous males in the public area by affirming that that they far too can be delicate and caring.1
Inviting the sitters to her residence, it was crucial for Hobson to 1st have interaction in conversation with the adult males about their illustration. This essential phase of session and self-dedication for the adult men, a single that Hobson has witnessed as absent in the majority of media portrayals and historic documents of Aboriginal adult men, is the defining aspect of the series. The rely on and care that was taken for the duration of this course of action is published on the stern, inquisitive and, at moments, susceptible faces, lots of of whom preserve eye speak to with the lens or are turned to gaze in contemplation. Hobson displays:
Every single photograph expected a discussion about the thought and the narrative: of getting portrayed to demonstrate a loving side of indigenous gentlemen. Staying a member of the Coen neighborhood, and remaining recognised as an artist at residence, any time I develop a system of operate, there is always an enthusiasm from folks to be associated. There is a human trust in my messaging and our individuals have delight in them selves and what they stand for.2
Connected: QAGOMA’s vision for reconciliation
Hobson’s associations with the subjects are subtlety hinted to as nicely she states
the photograph positions I have preferred mirror my connection with the issue alongside kinship traces.3
Each individual on a subject of black or white, the guys and their adornments glow. Bouquets community to the Coen area are meticulously positioned in the men’s facial hair signalling prosperity, daily life and attractiveness. Even though these floral arrangements exhibit a nurturing aspect, they are also a apparent reference of cultural identity. Adorning a beard with flowers is an acknowledgement of a ‘cult hero’, who is recognized amid the locals of Coen, amplifying the narrative of a warrior without having a weapon.
Political, social and group engagement is a longstanding factor of Hobson’s apply which she views as a continuation of her spouse and children tradition.
Katina Davidson is Curator, Indigenous Australian Artwork, QAGOMA
1 Naomi Hobson artist assertion, emailed to Curator, Indigenous Australian Artwork, 16 August 2018
2/3 Email correspondence from the artist to Assistant Curator, Indigenous Australian Artwork, 5 February 2019
Acknowledgment of Nation
The Queensland Artwork Gallery | Gallery of Fashionable Artwork acknowledges the Conventional Owners of the land on which the Gallery stands in Brisbane. We pay back respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders previous and present and, in the spirit of reconciliation, acknowledge the enormous imaginative contribution Initially Australians make to the art and culture of this country.