Naomi Hobson’s paintings Blue Reef at Night, 2018, and Touch the River Floor, 2019, are inspired by her direct environment and connection to the Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland. They explore the vastness, colour and patterns of Country.

Hobson describes being woken at night by colour. She also speaks of how sometimes a particular place or location in her home of Coen will come to her as a colour. Country and colour are connected for Hobson, who says: ‘I was brought up with the widest hue – it’s very bright where I live in Cape York.’ This chromatic intensity is conveyed in Touch the River Floor and is a reminder that, for some people, colour is experienced through other senses, including touch, taste, sound and scent, as well as through sight.

Naomi Hobson, Kaantju people, Queensland, born 1979, Coen, Queensland, Blue Reef At Night, 2018, Coen, Queensland, synthetic polymer on linen, 210.0 x 210.0 cm; © Naomi Hobson/Kalan Clay Shed, photo: ReDot Fine Art Gallery.

Naomi Hobson, Southern Kaantju/Umpila people, Queensland, born 1978, Coen, Queensland, Touch the River Floor, 2019, Coen, Queensland, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 205.5 x 209.5 cm; Acquisition through Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art supported by BHP 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Naomi Hobson/ReDot Fine Art Gallery.

As a child, Hobson would find interesting patterns and shapes in nature, including grains of sand or glossy bark from ghost gum trees. For one whole week, take a sketchbook with you everywhere you go and sketch interesting patterns you encounter in your everyday environment.

Recall a memory when you spent time in a natural environment. Capture that memory using mark making. Layer your painting using different materials, colours and patterns associated with this place.

Conduct some colour experiments using your other senses. What do you think red, yellow, orange, blue, purple or green taste, sound or move like? Create a chart for your taste responses and record your sound and movement responses. Compare your responses with others in the class.

Hobson connects colours with places and stories. Experiment with mixing paint to create three different shades of colour that capture the place where you live. Using only these three colours, create a painting that depicts your environment

Naomi Hobson, Kaantju people, Queensland, born 1979, Coen, Queensland, Blue Reef At Night, 2018, Coen, Queensland, synthetic polymer on linen, 210.0 x 210.0 cm; © Naomi Hobson/Kalan Clay Shed, photo: ReDot Fine Art Gallery.

Student Gallery Examples

See works of art by Reception and Year one students in response to Hobson's work

Naomi Hobson, Southern Kaantju/Umpila people, Queensland, born 1978, Coen, Queensland, OMG! “OMG! This is actually heavier than it looks!” Alaina., from the series Adolescent Wonderland, 2019, Coen, Queensland, digital print on paper, 81.0 x 110.0 cm; Courtesy the artist and Redot Fine Art Gallery, © Naomi Hobson/Redot Fine Art Gallery.

Adolescent Wonderland

Making & responding activities

Getting started

Bring Naomi Hobson into the classroom

Naomi Hobson, Coen River, Cape York, Queensland, 2017; photo: Tim Fryberg.

Naomi Hobson

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