The tropical city of Cairns will become a colourful hub of art, culture, fashion and design this week, with the return of the annual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF). Kicking off on Thursday with an opening night party, the three-day program includes dance, music, exhibitions and cultural activities, alongside a dynamic arts market featuring some of Australia’s most successful and emerging art centres and galleries. Some of this year’s highlights include a choreographed fashion performance by local designer Grace Lillian Lee (who participated in Australia’s first Indigenous Fashion Week earlier this year), an exhibition of Queensland contemporary Indigenous sculpture and the first solo exhibition by senior Torres Strait Island artist Segar Passi.
CIAF’s chief executive officer Alison Copley says the event is significant to Cairns as a destination and particularly to the cultural heritage and livelihoods of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander artists: “Since its establishment in 2009, CIAF has been the only art fair in Australia to sell and showcase art by members of Queensland’s Indigenous communities. Our event is committed to providing an ethical marketplace for the sale and purchase of Indigenous art while nurturing the career development of artists.” But the spotlight isn’t just on art and fashion, with the program also showcasing the country’s largest Indigenous and sustainable seafood event, the Gimuy Fish Festival – where three local restaurants are invited to battle for the Cook-off Crown. Check out the full CIAF program and get involved in this wonderful celebration of Indigenous art and culture!