Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures have once again attracted admiration from all over the world thanks to Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) 2021, which took place from Wednesday 10 November until Friday 19 November.
For the second year running, the event demonstrated its ability to accommodate Covid requirements and transitioned the much-loved program to a digital platform the whole world could enjoy.
While official virtual attendee numbers have not yet been announced (at time of print) for this year’s SACRED themed art fair, organisers were expecting final figures to be at least on par with the 2.5 million people from almost 85 countries who tuned in last year.
Close to 40 free digital events and activities were carried out over the 10 days, including art awards, conversations, fashion, music, symposium and community spotlights.
Locals were also treated to three live events, with Queensland Theatre’s Shakespeare production of Othello, the highly anticipated screening of Alick & Albert and the family favourite Music in the Park.
CIAF Chair Tom Mosby said he was proud to deliver another successful program online.
“Our team at CIAF has once again proved its resilience in what has been an even more challenging year than last,” Mr Mosby said.
“Collectively, the organisation’s resourcefulness shines again in its commitment to showcasing the incredible talent of our artists and community.”
Queensland Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch visited Cairns ahead of CIAF’s opening to view artwork from Yarrabah Art Centre.
Minister Enoch said she was thrilled to preview the new Yarrabah Arts Centre artists’ ceramic works that would go on to feature in CIAF Online 2021.
“Yarrabah has long been associated with talented ceramics artists such as Michelle and Philomena Yeatman, with the new works showcased at this year’s CIAF further elevating the community’s unique and treasured works and demonstrating the depth and quality of Queensland First Nations artists,” Ms Enoch said.
“This is just one example of the outstanding visual artwork that will be presented as part of a reimagined digital and physical CIAF, running online from 10-19 November, with arts and crafts available for purchase online from Queensland’s Indigenous Art Centres.
“CIAF online will give a boost to Queensland’s plan for economic recovery, especially for the Arts sector.”