Thursday, July 29, 2021

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2021

Of Spirit and Story

Cairns indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is back, and this year is shaping up to be its brightest yet with a sparkling new hub, film festival after dark, music in the park, along with host of stellar events and exhibitions that focus the spotlight on Queensland’s distinct and diverse Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander arts and culture.

For its highly anticipated 12th annual iteration, CIAF returns to staging its physical event, this time in the impressive, international award-winning surroundings of the extensively refurbished Cairns Convention Centre.

Once again the Fair’s digital programme means that it will have a world wide reach of its live streamed performances. Last year CIAF reached 85 countries!

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Fashion Show
Designer: Nicole Chatfield

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said CIAF 2021 will continue to share the unique First Nations cultures of Queensland within the local community as well as with millions of people across the world. 

“Congratulations to CIAF for leveraging the successes of last year’s virtual festival to create an exciting 2021 fusion festival, combining live events with digital programming, spanning visual arts, theatre, music, fashion and providing an ethical platform for economic opportunity and experiences,” Minister Enoch said.   

“Australia is home to the longest continuous living cultures in the world. Telling the stories of country and helping nurture a greater understanding of the First Nations peoples, place and culture are key imperatives for CIAF.”    

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair - CIAF - Fashion showcase
Designer: Pormpuraaw

“This year we will be presenting a really exciting and vibrant program that encapsulates the culture, talent and significance of Country, sacred sites and sense of place to Queensland First Peoples’ through visual arts, fashion, theatre, talks, music and dance,” said Artistic director Janina Harding.

This year(‘s) …exciting and vibrant program…encapsulates … culture, talent and significance of Country, sacred Sites and sense of place …”

– Janina Harding, Artistic Director, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

Along with a new festival hub CIAF 2021 festival goers can look forward to experiencing a fresh, feel-good vibe brought to life in a program bearing a number of firsts among the 20 plus events and activities, most of which are free to enjoy.   

Indigenous Fashion Designers in the Water is Sacred showcase
Designer: Pormpuraaw

According to Ms Harding, music and cultural dance is much loved favourite of CIAF which will be truly celebrated with its own stage and event at Munro Martin Parklands on Saturday 21 August.

“After the success of last year’s inaugural Music in the Park held in December, we are pumped to once again bring this event to the people over an entire afternoon and evening.  Headliners include Frank Yamma, Miiesha, and the winners of the 2021 Laura Festival,” she said.

From the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair - Water is Sacred fashion showcase of Indigenous Fashion Designers
Designer: Bana Yirriji Wujal

Spanning six days between Tuesday 17 and Sunday 22 August 2021, the event will feature the work of approximately 300 visual artists and 150 performers across the multidimensional program of mostly free, family friendly events that foster an inclusive and ethical marketplace for aspiring and established art collectors, curators, and the public.

From Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2020 – Water is Sacred Fashion Showcase
Lynelle Flinders - CIAF 2020
Designs by Lynelle Flinders

Of Spirit & Story Fashion – Thursday 19 & Friday 20 August 2021, Tank 3, Tanks Arts Centre

Award-winning artist Clinton Naina will curate this year’s fashion performance with choreography by Hans Ahwang, destined to provide a powerful and thought-provoking response to this year’s theme, Of Spirit and Story. Inspired by Sacred Sites and Places of Significance, Queensland’s Indigenous fashion designers and models will convey cultural and historical stories about their land and the responsibility of caring for Country through wearable art, design, music and performance. 

Cairns Indeigneous Art Fair- fashion show 2020
Designer: Hopevale Arts

Images: Cristina -The Photo Corner

See the full programme at the CIAF website. Tickets are NOW on sale.

Tap/click here to see last year’s CIAF.

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