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Queensland’s Indigenous art and culture shines its light on the world

Shining a light on Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture over 10 exciting days, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is now live and the whole world is invited.

Using an interactive, digital platform to deliver its 12th annual program of impressive exhibitions, time-honoured events and activities, CIAF 2021 comprises live stream presentations, performances, webinars, cultural yarns, community spotlights, virtual gallery exhibitions and an online shop.

From Wednesday night’s opening night program until closing on Friday 19 November, musical performances by Chris Tamwoy and Eisha Jade and Mau Power and The Nightshift will bookend the program of more than 40 individual events and activities that can be enjoyed anywhere and everywhere.

“Sacred Reef” by Gertie Deeral is just one of the incredible artworks on display at this year’s CIAF.

What’s Happening Live in Cairns during CIAF

With a few notable exceptions, CIAF’s 2021 is completely digital with physical events including the world premiere season of Queensland Theatre’s Othello at Bulmba-ja Art Centre on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 November, Music in the Park and Art Market at Munro Martin Parklands (free) from 4pm on Saturday 13 November and the screening of Alick & Albert at Events Cinemas on Wednesday 17 November. Added to this, Cairns Art Gallery (Ritual: The past in the present), Courthouse Gallery (Mermaid ‘Zeloh’) and North Site (Legacies Living On, Mornington Island Arts) all have associated exhibitions in place.

CIAF’s Artistic Director Janina Harding said she is proud to present this year’s program which, at a profound level, reflects Queensland’s First Peoples’ resilience to today’s challenging times.

“CIAF is more than an event; it plays an integral role in sharing and promoting better understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures with a global audience,” Ms Harding said.

According to Ms Harding, the organisation has worked hard to leverage from last year’s experience in successfully transitioning the physical program online and is excited to lift the bar even further in 2021.

“For virtual visitors to this year’s program, we have provided plenty of opportunities that are easy to access and explore online from galleries and exhibitions to performances to talks, fashion and storytelling,” she said.

Fulfilling its title of Australia’s premier Art Fair and Queensland’s quintessential showcase of Indigenous arts and culture, this year’s digital program showcases the talent of some 300 Indigenous visual and performing artists.

CIAF Chair, Tom Mosby said the organisation has once again performed the ultimate ‘pivot’ to produce a program laden with artistic, social, and cultural experiences, while also managing to create an ethical marketplace and vital economic opportunities for Queensland artists.

“For the next 10 days our communities, friends and supporters from near and far will celebrate and embrace the vibrant and distinctive arts and culture of Far North Queensland,” Mr Mosby said.

Ticketed events

For tickets to Queensland Theatre’s Othello and the screening of Alick and Albert, visit ticketlink.com.au.

For more information visit ciaf.com.au.


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