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10 - 12 July 2020



17th May - 11th August 2019

Opening Night

Wednesday 10th July 2019


Cairns Art Gallery,
Cairns QLD 4870

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. With the support of Arts Queensland, the Cairns Art Gallery has assisted the artist to realise an innovative photographic project that establishes new narratives around black representation, identity and gender in Coen, and which has resulted in an extraordinary body of new photographic works for exhibition at the Cairns Art Gallery.  

While creating new works for her exhibition Adolescent Wonderland, the artist mentored young photographers to produce a video of themselves and their peers to explore issues of identity while offering positive and empowered alternatives to stereotypical ideas of disengaged youth.

Speaking about the project, Naomi says:

'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 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, “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 create a sense of fantasy in the transition of young people between childhood and adulthood where the subjects are still finding themselves through adventure and playfulness. They have not yet let go of their childhood.'

This project 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.

Opening Event

Wednesday 10 July 6.00pm

Liz Ann Macgregor OBE

Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney




Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Ltd is a not-for-profit company with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) Status. All donations to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) are greatly appreciated and will contribute to CIAF operational costs. Your support assists CIAF in continuing to attract and nurture national and international recognition for the appreciation of the vital cultural contribution of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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