CELEBRATE INDIGENUS CULTURE AT CIAF 2022
In Australia, we are incredibly lucky to have such an abundance of culture at our very fingertips. Here in the tropical north, our Indigenous and Torres Strait Island First Nations people are amongst the most ancient cultures that roamed the planet, and we are here for it!
The Cairns indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is Australia’s most premier Indigenous event that gives a window into the vibrancy of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures of Queensland through everything from dance and music to art direct from the artisans. Since its inception, CIAF has attracted over a million visitors to their events, with the 2022 edition shaping up to be its biggest and most visible yet. After two years as an online event, CIAF 2022 is back in the flesh, the first fully live program since before COVID.
Spanning five days between 6 -10 July 2022, the event will feature the work of approximately 300 visual artists and 150 performers across the multidimensional program. The mostly free, family friendly events foster an inclusive and ethical marketplace for aspiring and established art collectors, curators, and the public.
So, pull out your highlighters – here’s our pick for the top CIAF events you need to experience.
CIAF FASHION – WE ARE MASTERS OF COUNTRY || 7 – 8th July || Tank 3
Possibly the most anticipated of all CIAF events is the Fashion Performance, held at the iconic Tanks Arts Centre. An incredible evening showcasing wearable art and fashion, alongside music and cultural dance, the Fashion Performance is a celebration and honouring of First Nation People’s knowledge and use of indigenous plants and trees. Through textiles and fashion, designers use this cultural knowledge to pass along the stories of their ancestors.
CIAF ART EXHIBITIONS
Indigenous Art is the cornerstone of CIAF, with satellite art exhibitions and marketplaces across the city.
NorthSite Contemporary Arts | 96 Abbott Street
Dylan Mooney, Dylan Sarra, Darren Blackman, Kyra Mancktelow, and Dion Beasley
24 June - 13 August 2022
This group exhibition interrogates Blak histories across Queensland. It demonstrates the return of property, land, power, and agency to rightful owners and communities through art.
Bana Yirriji Art Centre | Wujul Wujul
NYUNGU BUBU: STORIES FROM OUR COUNTRY
29 June — 10 September
The title of this exhibition translates as 'Nyungu' (our) and 'Bubu' (Country). Bubu is also the term used for 'earth', which reflects the nature of these paintings created using locally found and processed earth pigments, by grinding local ochres into powder. In this exhibition Bana Yirriji artists consider the concept of ‘sacred’.
Court House Gallery | 38 Abbott Street
CIAF FASHION STORY
30 June - 30 July 2022
Between 2013-2017, esteemed fashion designer and artist Grace Lillian Lee was engaged as CIAF’s inaugural Fashion curator. Since then, Grace has committed to furthering the career and showcasing opportunities for Indigenous fashion designers across Queensland and Australia through the establishment of the First Nations Fashion Design (FNFD) platform.
The exhibition also shines a spotlight on curatorial duo, Simone Arnol and Bernard Singleton, who steered CIAF’s Fashion Performances from 2018-2021, encompassing provocative concepts including Connection to Country, Climate Change and Land Rights themes.
Co-Curated by artist Francoise Lane and CIAF Artistic Director Janina Harding.
Tanks Arts Centre | 46 Collins Avenue, Edge Hill
DABIYIL BAJADA (WATER FOOTPRINTS)
Sonja Carmichael & Elisa Jane Carmichael
25 June - 24 July 2022
Translating to ‘water footprint’, the exhibition features a series of six epic-scaled cyanotypes which will be draped from the ceiling, submerging audiences into a deep ocean chasm of ancient Minjerribah stories, plants, and animals.
Dabiyil Bajara – Goompi (one of the six cyanotypes) features dugongs, a highly sacred, endangered animal, floating across the deep waters of the bay, while Dabiyil Bajara – Yarrabin is about the saltwater crashing in and out, and the perennial changes in tides and times.
FROM CAMPFIRE TO STAGE LIGHT || 7-9 July and 12-16 July || Bulmba-ja Theatre
Experience the life story of David Hudson, a well-known and loved cultural leader and Indigenous tourism global ambassador, as it unfolds onstage in the play “Campfire to Stage Light”. The play, which is directed by nationally recognised first nations director Isaac Drandic, will have its world premiere at Bulumba-ja Threatre on July 7th.
ABORIGINAL COMEDY ALLSTARS || 8 July || TANK 5
Starring Australia's premier comedians Sean Choolburra, Kevin Kropinyeri, Andy Saunders and Steph Tisdell. From the oldest culture on earth comes the freshest and funniest stand-up comedy around that is both cheeky and thought-provoking.
MUSIC IN THE TANK || 9th July || TANK 5
Join CIAF Ambassadors Naomi Wenitong and Aaron Fa ' Aoso, the hosts of this year's CIAF music concert. Featuring an eclectic line-up of Queensland First Peoples ' talent, including Miiesha (Acoustic) from Woorabinda, Djun Djun Jarra (Yarrabah), AJ (Cairns) and Joey Tapau (Mer Island) with special guest performance by Pitjantjatjara man Frank Yamma.
For all CIAF events and programs, head to: www.ciaf.com.au