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Featured Artist

Rebecca Ann Hobbs


Rebecca Ann Hobbs, Complex Social Groups, Digital inkjet print, 95 x 80 Rebecca Ann Hobbs, Complex Social Groups, Digital inkjet print, 95 x 80
The photographs of Rebecca Ann Hobbs border on the unknown and the unsaid. Suck Roar (2001) is a series of 7 self-portraits in which Hobbs pictures herself with a range of creatures from different species. The photographs have been digitally manipulated to intensify their colour thus imitating the hand-colouring of another era, and though they are inkjet prints, when they are exhibited they are framed with great formality. Each highly staged photograph sets up a relationship and suggests some communication between a human and another species—birds, possums, a dog, a squid, a stuffed fox, snails and a spider. The relationships become increasingly strange and attenuated. Hobbs began the series planning to picture herself as a homeless person, but the imagery of cross-species relationships took over with all its metaphoric potential of investigating and depicting hierarchies of eroticism and power. In the title of the series, Suck refers to the feminine element, while Roar refers to the animal element. In each photograph Hobbs appears in the centre wearing carefully chosen old clothes with a stylish awkwardness. It is almost as if she has restaged documentary photographs of an isolated weird scientist in the 50s or earlier, caught on a Freudian threshold of misunderstanding.

Stephanie Radok
Reproduced with permission from the 2003 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships catalogue (University of South Australia)
Rebecca Anne Hobbs (Victoria) is one of 7 Samstag Scholars announced in November who will take up their scholarships in 2003. The other recipients are Samantha Small (South Australia), John Meade, Callum Morton (Victoria), Maria Kontis (NSW), Anke Kindle (Tasmania) and Simon Pericich (WA). Thanks to the generous bequest of Gordon Samstag and the scholarships established in 1992, each artist will receive 12 months living allowance of US$28,000 as well as travel expenses and the cost of institutional study fees in the US or elsewhere outside of Australia.

Townsville-born Rebecca Ann Hobbs graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) degree in Photography from the Victorian College of Arts in 2002. In 2001 she won a National Gallery of Victoria Trustee Award, a Proud Friends of the VCA Acquisition Prize, and was runner up for the Photo Technica New Australian Photo-Artist, Australian Centre for Photography. Hobbs had 2 solo shows in 2002: Suck Roar, CCP Melbourne, and To April Love May, Linden-St Kilda Centre for Contemporary Arts, Melbourne.

RealTime issue #52 Dec-Jan 2002 pg. 11

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