CIAF 2017

The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is an annual cultural event that showcases the art and culture of Queensland Indigenous artists. CIAF is uniquely (and proudly) QLD orientated and offers three days of visual art, music, talks, workshops, performance, theatre, fashion and food!

Community Engagement Officer Kaylah Tyson and myself, Sophia Sambono represented kuril dhagun this year; both CIAF first timers we packed our days with tours, activities and meetings to soak in every moment of the festivities.

The Yarrabah display in the Art Fair

We stood in awe of the amazing art of the region and tagged along to many of the curators and collectors events, strengthening connections with Indigenous arts facilitators and practitioners from all over the country.

Freja and Sophia with the artists from Yarrabah Arts and Cultural Precinct

Elisa Jane, Sonya and Freja Carmichael at the fashion show

The highlight, once again, was the fashion performance WANDAN (future) curated by long-time friend of kuril dhagun Grace Lillian Lee.  The visual feast of music, dance, and fashion featured many of our extended kuril family; Perry Mooney, model and digital producer slayed the catwalk and Elisa Jane Carmichael’s divine fabrics and weaves did not disappoint.

Highlights from the show

CIAF is programmed and woven into other local celebrations of culture over the weekend, Big Talk One Fire and Gimuy Fish Festival, reaffirms the cultural strength and connections of Indigenous people in QLD and the Cairns region. As a duo responsible for public programming and community engagement we are bringing back many lessons (and business cards!) to kuril dhagun.

We also took the opportunity to hang out with some of the regional office team and offer our assistance in SLQ’s pop up stall providing kids activities and family history assistance. Meeting these fabulous folks in person is invaluable to developing and maintaining working relationships across different parts of the state.

Natasha, Kaylah, Sophia and James hanging out at the SLQ pop up

Making the most of our trip to Cairns, we caught up with NAIDOC 2017 artist of the year, Elverina Johnson. She took time out of her busy schedule to provide guided access to her Mainie Yarrabah collection which will soon be featured in kuril dhagun’s upcoming exhibition, Jabu Birriny (land and sea).

Kaylah and Elverina at Mainie shop front

The Yarrabah community exhibition Jabu Birriny (land and sea) will be open in kuril dhagun 22 October 2017 – 11 March 2018.

Keep an eye out in what’s on for exclusive tours and artist workshops we are planning for the 21 October opening celebrations .