After a three-year hiatus, with the last two events running digitally, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) returned to Gimuy and Yirrganydji Lands recently in all its resplendent glory. While we’ve all had to adapt and change because of “recent times”, it’s always such an awe-inspiring experience to be immersed in the incredible explosion of art, design, fashion, Country and culture that CIAF embodies. We’ve proudly been a supporter of the CIAF Fashion Performances since 2016 and, as always, this year’s beautiful show of wearable art, fashion, dance, music and performance didn’t disappoint. The theme for this year, showcasing brands and designers such as Simone Arnol and Bernard Singleton Jnr, Delvene Cockatoo Collins and Red Ridge, was ‘We Are Masters of Country’.
Through textiles and fashion, we continue to use this cultural knowledge to tell our stories to our future generations. Learn from us… We are Masters of Country.
“Since time immemorial, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have used plants and trees for nutrition, medicine for healing, and technology such as traps, nets, and weapons,” Fashion Performance Curator, Lynelle Flinders, shared. “This specialised knowledge has helped us to thrive as the oldest living culture in the world. In our world view, science and technology are used to manage the environment for the benefit of all people. A great variety of tools, weapons and utensils were used to gather plants for food, fibres, and medicine as well as to hunt animals for food and clothing. Through textiles and fashion, we continue to use this cultural knowledge to tell our stories to our future generations. Learn from us… We are Masters of Country.”
To bring the stunning garments from the fashion performance to life, CIAF enlisted the help of The Photo Corner and local Indigenous models from the show to create a photographic series, displaying not just mere fashion, but the interwoven threads of history, First Nations knowledge and the way forward. Take a front-row seat and let these Indigenous designers lead the way!
30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY BY ROBERT PAU
AURA BY SIMONE ARNOL FEATURING BERNARD SINGLETON JR
PORMPURAAW WEARABLE ART BY ALMA NORMAN
PIKININI BLO COUNTRY BY CAIRNS WEST STATE SCHOOL FASHION CLUB
TAWALPIN STRING MAKING BY DELVENE COCKATOO-COLLINS
GU-GA – BARK SKIN BY ELVERINA JOHNSON
OOCHUNYUNG COLLECTION BY FIONA WIRRER-GEORGE OOCHUNYUNG
STRAIT ON CLOTH – WUG COLLECTION BY ROSIE WARE
COUNTRY IS OUR MASTER BY YARRABAH ARTS CULTURAL PRECINCT
All photos by The Photo Corner, courtesy of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. Hair and makeup by Cass Ellmer. Models featured: Amaria Thomas-Savage, Ann-Maree Titasey, Tahanee Buli, Gillyba Ambrum, Jamie McLenson, Dellis Sukaserm, Tanika Parker, Tarita Sagigi, Sarah Eggmolesse, Sasha Grainer, Millisont Sailor, Loretta Messa, Malu Lui, Injarra Harbour, Jobe Adams, Lynette Gee Gee, Jessica Meeks.
INSIDE CIAF 2022
The art fair itself is a rich tapestry of established and up-and-coming artists, cultural workshops, music, comedy, performances, exhibitions and market stalls, all-encompassing the innovative expressions of Indigenous art, cultures and design. Below are a few photos from our time at CIAF (taken by our EIC Kelley Sheenan, who went to the event), capturing just a fraction of the talent on display.
FASHION PERFORMANCE ‘WE ARE MASTERS OF COUNTRY’
BAMANGA BUBU NGADIMUNKU ABORIGINAL CORPORATION
LEFT: YALANGJI ARTS MOSSMAN GORGE, RIGHT: MICHELLE YEATMAN YARRABAH ARTS AND CULTURAL PRECINCT
LAUREN ROGERS ARTS
HOPE VALE ART AND CULTURAL CENTRE
PORMPURRAW ART AND CULTURE CENTRE
LEFT: MORNINGTON ISLAND ARTS, MIDDLE: TAMIKA GRANT-IRAMU AT ONESPACE GALLERY, RIGHT: WIK AND KUGU ARTS CENTRE
WIK AND KUGU ARTS CENTRE
GRACE LILLIAN LEE AND DR KEN THAIDAY SNR AT NORTHSITE
LEFT AND MIDDLE: KAYANNIE ART, RIGHT: SONJA CARMICHAEL AND ELISA JANE CARMICHAEL
‘GATHERING’ – A CULTURE-BASED COMMUNITY COLLABORATION, LED BY ELVERINA JOHNSON AND FRANCOISE LANE FOR WOMEN OF THE WORLD (WOW) CAIRNS
LEFT AND MIDDLE: SHARA DELANEY ART, RIGHT: ANNE NUNN AT BANA JIRRIJI ART CENTRE
HEATHER KOOWOOTHA AT NORTHSITE GALLERY
WEI’NUM ARTS AND CRAFT
CATHY SNOW BY ANCIENT JOURNEYS
MARGARET GABEY – GAB TITUI CULTURAL CENTRE