January First

Suzanne O’Connell Gallery

I feel a need and an urge to document life and the camera is a brilliant tool for it. My art reflects my people, my community, and country. Who we are as people, what humanity really looks like, and where it came from; fifty-thousand years of living, everything honest and grounded in culture.”


The series of photographs documents local First Nations people celebrating together, in what Hobson calls “a custom related to new beginnings.” Called “Auwa,” in Hobson’s language, the celebration welcomes new beginnings and relationships; that is, it signifies a community always moving forward. Individuals and families are pictured in homes, holding one another, cherished objects, or pets. Clothes are bright and jubilant, teeming with life, and faces are often painted. Figures spring form the backgrounds of the images with verve.

This show may represent a significant formal shift for Hobson, but there is an essential continuity between her photographs and her paintings. On the show, Hobson says that “every person in my photographs has their own story to tell, because many of us came from a place where black people never had this opportunity to tell our real stories, on our terms. Nobody can tell our story better than ourselves.” No matter the medium, this storytelling – this record-keeping and record-making for long-standing and living cultures – is one of Hobson’s great achievements.

Excerpt from Artist Profile review