Cairns Indigenous Art Fair celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed the return of visitors to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) 2022 and acknowledged the many First Nations artists whose work formed the centrepiece of the annual event.

“It’s an exciting time in Cairns with the staging of this landmark event as an important First Nation arts and cultural festival which our Government has supported since its inception,” the Premier said.

“I congratulate the winners of the CIAF art awards, including Katherine Ngallametta as the 2022 winner of the $15,000 Premier’s Award for Excellence for the most outstanding work at CIAF.

“Katherine Ngallametta, from Pormpuraaw Art and Culture Centre, received the award for her work Land Centre, which the judges described as “a poignant work whose patterns and ripples evoke abstract images of the layers of the earth, rings of a tree and the life forces of Country.”

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said CIAF received operational core funding from the Queensland Government with $2.4million over four-years.

“We are also investing in two additional CIAF initiatives in 2022, with $200,000 for the Big Sculpture Showcase which features large-scale works to activate the CIAF event landscape, and $120,000 for CIAF 2022-23 Digital Growth Opportunities to produce a series of video podcasts that will help CIAF to record and pass on cultural knowledge,” the Minister said.

“CIAF 2022 features beautiful visual arts, and a comprehensive program of music and performing arts, including the CIAF Fashion Story exhibition which presents fashion design, wearable art, performance and Music in the Tank live music program at Tanks Arts Centre.”

Minister Enoch said the Queensland Government’s ongoing investment would see the festival continue to elevate First Nations arts, and grow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts practice, development and distribution.

“CIAF plays an important role in profiling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and expanding ethical networks to grow the sale and distribution of First Nations art and secure Queensland’s reputation for exceptional First Nations arts and cultural experiences.

“The Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games are set to be a powerful celebration of First Nations arts and cultures, and the Queensland Government is committed to ensuring First Nations artists and arts workers are best positioned to leverage the significant opportunity this presents,” Minister Enoch said.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Craig Crawford congratulated all the artists on show at CIAF, that coincides with NAIOC week.

“Art, like language, is an expression of the spirit and soul,” Mr Crawford said.

“It is also a form of truth-telling, and through art can help connect all of us to the stories, songlines, and sense of place of First Nations artists.”

In delivering her eighth and final CIAF, Artistic Director Janina Harding said she was looking forward to the days ahead and welcoming everyone back.

“I feel particularly proud of the CIAF team and the incredible quality of artwork on show,” Ms Harding said.

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