Artist Samantha Hobson is one of the Lockhart River‘Art Gang’. Growing up, she experienced traditional life – such as camping, fishing, gathering berries – within and around the Lockhart River area. Samantha is living and working in Cairns as well as completing private and corporate commissions in Brisbane studios. Her paintings continue to reflect both traditional stories and contemporary themes associated with cultural, social and environmental concerns. Thick layering of paints with bright marine colours are used to reflect Samantha’s memories of life on the reef with the fish flashing past, the coral, the sea grass and the shallow water fading to deep.
Region: Eastern Cape York Peninsula
Language group: Kuuku Y’au
Lives and works: Cairns, QLD
Old People Series:
Growing up we always relied on the old people to go out in the bush with us, to hunt or to get bush fruit and yams. They also taught us what food was safe to eat and what not to eat, as well as how to cook all the traditional food. The old people were good at telling what fish was available in different seasons or what food would be available at certain times of the year. They showed us the lands where they used to camp in the olden days.
I grew up at my grandmother and grandfather’s and I went everywhere with them. They took me too many different places, sometimes we would go into the bush or we would go down to the beach and camp there. We would also stay at home, sit around a campfire, and tell stories.
The old people taught us corroboree dancing, as well as how to make our grass skirts, hand banners and headbands. Our old people taught us how to dance and do body painting. We would go out to a particular place in Lockhart and collect clay from the land.
The north and south (Eipy and Kunki) clans would dance against each other for social interaction.
Most of the old people in Lockhart have gone now, but we do still paint about them today and talk about them in our stories. We tell our children about our old people who have passed and their stories.