Catwalks, crocs and canvases – this is what you missed if you didn’t make it to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) this year. Art buff or not, CIAF offered everything from street eats and lively entertainment for the casual passerby to an exclusive fashion parade and a curated art exhibition for the more artsy-fartsy of festival dwellers.
Pronounced Kai-Aff, the family-friendly event, held from July 14 – 17, undoubtedly succeeded in showing off the incredible talent and dedication of hundreds of Queensland’s indigenous artists. Many revealed their art for the first time, having carefully transported their work from some of the most remote communities of Tropical North Queensland.
Attracting thousands of people to Cairns, CIAF is building year on year a reputation as a world-class event and is a much-anticipated date on many international collectors and curators’ calendars.
Check out the highlights from CIAF 2016 below and make sure to add this epic event to your 2017 planning, stat!
The exhibition was in full swing on opening night at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal.
This eight metre sculpture of a crocodile from the Pormpuraaw Art & Cultural Centre, located in Cape York, is made from ghost nets – fishing nets that have been lost at sea by fisherman and are found washed up onshore or tangled in rocks. Artists from the centre use ghost net sculptures as a way to tell traditional stories.
‘Paddles’ is a piece by Erub Erwer Meta (Darnley Island Arts Centre). Darnley Island is one of the most remote communities in Australia located in the Torres Strait, 160km north east of Australia’s Cape York Peninsula.
A crowd favourite, the Aurukun camp dogs packed a whole lotta bite and stole the show on the exhibition floor.
At just 26 years old Daniel O’Shane’s work attracted plenty of attention at the show. He started dabbling in art in his late teens, as he wanted to share his peoples’ stories and found it was the best way for him to learn about his culture and background. His advice for young budding artists? “Give it a shot. Don’t be afraid to try something new.”
Spectators were treated to a visual feast as a range of Australian Indigenous designers displayed their works in a unique combination of dance and fashion.
The fashion show finale ended the performance on a colourful high.
Traditional indigenous performances kept the crowds entertained and dancing along during the ‘Dancing on the Green’ showcase.
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Local food trucks and mobile cafés served yummy fare and kept tummies full all weekend long.