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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Seeking Indigenous Designers and Artists

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is calling for Queensland’s talented Indigenous fashion designers and wearable art makers to be part of the event’s highly anticipated 2023 Fashion Performance: Woven.

Returning for its 14th season, running between the 13 and 16 July 2023, during which the annual Fashion Performance will present a culturally imbued showcase of Queensland’s highly skilled Indigenous fashion designers, artists and creatives. Last year was CIAF’s most successful year, reaching over $1 million in art sales and engaging over 60,000 visitors across the programmed events.

According to CIAF’s Artistic Director Francoise Lane the Fashion Performance is an event that is much more than fashion for fashion’s sake. The show uniquely features a strong Indigenous spiritual undercurrent, together with stunning choreography. In addition to storytelling, it features a compelling narrative that leaves the audience with a powerful message.

Curator Lynelle Flinders will lead CIAF’s 2023 Fashion Performance team with choreography from Hans Ahwang.

Referencing the chosen theme for 2023, Woven, Ms Flinders said CIAF’s Fashion Performance is an opportunity for designers to ground their designs with a personal sense of sovereignty, stories, and worldviews while weaving in a myriad of colours, unique cuts, and textural fabrics.

“We encourage designers to use their creativity in the fashion/wearable art perspective as a vehicle for sharing and educating the viewers on issues that matter to them. CIAF is looking for both, or a combination of, textiles garments and multimedia wearable art and accessories,” Ms Flinders said.

The story behind

Weaving Our Future: Claiming Our Sovereignty is a rich and thought-provoking artist statement to guide and shape a creative response reflecting Queensland’s two distinct cultures and the issue of ‘sovereignty’ from traditional and contemporary perspectives.

The theme is styled by the organisation’s newly appointed Artistic Director, Francoise Lane, to raise the broader national consciousness of Queensland’s First Peoples and the issues, conversations, and experiences that shape their narrative.

With Australia on the cusp of a new chapter promoting inclusion and empowerment of First Peoples, we are living in a time where a collective voice is being positioned to drive change across our state and nation. Queensland’s path to Treaty is a prime example – Francoise Lane

“Within this context, CIAF’s 2023 theme will both inspire and harness the sentiments of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in a manner both apt and timely while leveraging an established event platform that encourages meaningful cultural and artistic exchange,” Ms Lane said.

The Queensland Government established CIAF in 2009 as a strategic initiative to back Indigenous Arts. The aim was to build a stronger, more sustainable, and ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts industry in the State. 

Digital Perspetive

In 2020 and 2021, CIAF delivered a new and interactive digital festival platform to the world through a series of live-stream presentations, performances, webinars, cultural talks, community spotlights, virtual gallery exhibitions to achieve significant outcomes.

In 2020 CIAF’s Facebook posts and live streams reached 2,646,397 people in 80 countries, while the program website garnering approximately 13,000 visits across 85 countries. 

From the outset, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair has attracted significant attention from both international and national institutional and private collectors, curators, media, and the general public. In just 12 years, the event has seen over 320,000 visitors, with more than $8 million generated in art sales. By returning these funds to the artistic community, allows them to further develop their art practice.

While inclusion in the CIAF Fashion Performance: Woven is competitive, CIAF welcomes all emerging and established designers to apply

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