CIAF 2017 Wrap-upAugust 10, 2017
The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair is over for another year. Once again we were greeted warmly by the fair staff and other exhibitors as we began unloading and installing the work. Umbrella again took up the flame as the only arts organisation from Townsville present, and we look directly at the Townsville Cultural Centre board while saying this. It should be noted however that there were Townsville schools present with displays in the marketplace by their creative Indigenous students. Our exhibition walls were directly across from Gail Mabo, who we shared a lot of discussions, laughs, and even tears with. Gail’s work represented the land claim maps her father Eddie Koiki Mabo drew for the courts in the Mabo case for Native Title, and the star which was recently named to honour him.
Umbrella showcased new works by Arone Meeks, Toby Cedar, Obery Sambo, and Tommy Pau which were a preview to a body of work we hope to tour: “Legacy”. We almost had a complete sell-out! All but 3 works sold. Some to private collectors from down south, and one to the National Gallery of Victoria. We met representatives from Arts Queensland and the Australia Council for the arts, and Gail had a yarn with Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk. CIAF is a wonderful event which respects and promotes our Indigenous Australians, and I think the more people connect with the artwork, they more they understand the deep relationship they have with the land. I can’t wait for CIAF 2018! The dates have already been set so book time off and come and visit us in Cairns.
PS: I had my first go at painting a wall – take a look! Not too bad for an administrator huh?