Naomi Blacklock embraces alterity as a symbol of activism. The Brisbane based artist uses performance to amplify voices of minority. Working primarily with sound installation, text works and performance, her artworks involve an exploration and examination of mythologies regarding wild women archetypes and harmful histories of gender and cultural identity.
Story photographed by Hannah Roche.
How do you express yourself through your work?
By inserting my body into my art I am commenting on representation; the representation of the "Other", of the female voice, and of women of colour. The ability to express my voice and body are based on my belief that the representation and voices of minority groups must not only be heard but amplified.
How do you start creating a new piece?
Researching, writing and experimenting are my key methods for creating. By using the figure of the witch as a method of experimentation, their histories, rituals and the legacy of those who have used the witch as a political ally long before me, help create and develop the performance works.
What ideas do you explore in your work and why are they important in performance art?
My current works explore the female voice, particularly the power and agency of the female voice through performative and ritualised screaming. I think anger is a powerful tool, but something that is misunderstood and misplaced. The line ‘I have got a lot to be mad about’ in Solanges song ‘Mad’ really resonates with what I believe many in the world are feeling at the moment. There is a lot of vilification of minority groups, and as a woman of colour that anger tends to surge and drown my body. My performance works are a chance to free this anger.
What are the benefits of performance art?
There is a fleeting nature to performance art that is captivating. It is raw and unedited and then it is gone, left to exist in photo or video documentation. This ephemerality has the ability to create lasting potent memories for the viewer, something that I believe is worth maintaining in an ever developing virtual world.
How do you use fashion in performance art?
My recent works involve embodying the figure of the witch as a symbol of rebellion and activism and my clothing choices aim to subtly reflect this. However comfort and flexibility is key, as I often perform on the ground using my limbs to create percussions.
What does sustainability mean to you?
The actions and small rituals we perform in our day to day lives can make ripples, both good and bad. But practicing sustainability makes waves. It is a form of self-preservation and self-care that not only affects and heals the individual but the world around them.
What skill would you like to learn?
What keeps you up at night?
The current political climate and mosquitoes.
What was the last kind thing someone did/said to you?
I was recently gifted a warm and healing hug.
What is something you are looking forward to?
View Naomi's work on her website.