Bobbi Lockyer is, in her own words, a pink-haired mermaid queen, feminist, queer and passionate about colour, working to shake up traditional social circles with her art. An art she creates using clothing, traditional works (material and digital), paintings… and photographs.

Born in Port Hedland in Kariyarra country, she is a representative of the Ngarluma, Kariyarra, Nyul Nyul and Yawuru peoples. Honoured as a NAIDOC Artist Celebrating Aboriginal Culture in 2021 and an Ambassador for Nikon Australia, Bobbi Lockyer draws inspiration from ancestral tales, the vibrant hues of her natural environment, the waves of the ocean and her deep commitment to her community, using all this to fuel an artistic approach that defies convention.

She offers a glimpse into the intimate through her work, which also serves as a platform to advocate for causes close to her heart, such as social justice, the rights of indigenous peoples and women’s rights, including Birthing on Country: a movement that helps Aboriginal women give birth in a familiar environment that respects their traditions and identity. This concept also affirms that the child is born on the sovereign lands of Australia’s first peoples, peoples who have never ceded ownership of their lands, seas and skies to anyone else. These notions of motherhood, transmission and natural heritage hold great importance for this artist, who is well aware that the survival of the first peoples depends on the preservation of their ancestral rites.

This is also a necessary struggle: in 2023, after a historic referendum, Australia voted “No” to constitutional recognition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original inhabitants of the island-continent. A failure at the end of a campaign that further deepened the racial divisions in the country.


© Bobbi Lockyer • Exhibition Origins