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6 - 10 July 2022

CIAF Presents: August 2021

While the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) has postponed our series of events until 10-19 November, 2021, there are still a number of riveting exhibitions happening across Cairns in August!

A host of visual art exhibitions will proceed as planned across local Cairns galleries this month.

CIAF’s 2021 exhibition program promises a visual feast of artworks now installed across the city’s galleries, from Tanks Arts Centre, to the central hubs of North Site Contemporary Arts, Cairns Art Gallery and Courthouse Gallery.  All exhibitions are open and free to be enjoyed!

CIAF’s own exhibition, Where’s Your Permit?, will run from Saturday 7 August, until Sunday 22 August with an official, public opening celebration from 5pm, Friday 20 August 2021.

Free CIAF Satellite Exhibitions happening across Cairns throughout August are as follows: 

Where's Your Permit? at Tanks Art Centre (7 August to 22 August 2021)

Australian communities are living through a period of restrictions on movement, in response to controlling the spread of COVID-19. For many of our Elders, it is not the first time they have lived with restrictions on movement.

It was not that long ago that Queensland’s First Peoples lived under the control of Protectors and Chief Protectors under the Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act (1897) and related Acts, implemented from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. Under these Acts the movement of First Peoples was restricted and permits were required to leave the mission or reserve, or dwell away from the reserve.

Curated by the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair’s Artistic Director, Janina Harding, and artist and designer, Francoise Lane, of Indij Design, this exhibition is a platform for truth-telling, presenting visual stories that offer an insight to the oppressive policies and paternalistic treatment of Queensland’s First Peoples.

Ritual: The past in the present exhibition at Cairns Art Gallery (15 May to 22 August 2021)

Curated by Julietta Park, Teho Ropeyarn and Kylie Burke in collaboration with CIAF, Ritual: The past in the present explores the shifting perception of rituals with works by Australia’s contemporary Indigenous artists alongside that of Asia-Pacific artists. The show comprises works that respond to three main themes: Life cycles, healing and renewal, and spiritual practices. Exhibiting local artists include Grace Lillian Lee, Brian Robinson, Simone Arnol and Bernard Singleton, Carl Fourmile, Peggy Kasabad Lane, Heather Koowootha, Naomi Hobson and Janet Fieldhouse. To find out more, visit: www.cairnsartgallery.com.au

Contemporary Indigenous Textiles from Australia’s Tropic Zone at Court House Gallery (5 June to 4 September 2021) 

Presenting a captivating array of hand printed Indigenous textiles from artists across remote communities in Far North Australia.  The exhibition celebrates textiles a dynamic art form that transcends the realm of utility, bringing together elements of art, design and fashion in an intuitive and thought-provoking way. To find out more, visit: www.cairns.qld.gov.au

Three exhibitions at NorthSite Contemporary Arts (from 26 June to 4 September 2021)
To find out more, visit: www.northsite.org.au

Francoise Lane Tropical Punk Backpacks (7 July to 28 August)

Tropical Punk Backpacks is an international design collaboration between Torres Strait designer Francoise Lane and Scottish Designer Emily Millichip.

Legacies Living On (26 June to 4 September 2021)

A major suite of new, large-scale paintings by artists from Mornington Island Art Centre celebrating and honouring the legacies of late Kaiadilt and Lardil innovators Mirdidingkingathi Iuwarnda Sally Gabori and Goobalathaldin Dick Roughsey.

Tommy Pau: The Coming of the Light: 150 Years of Torres Strait Enlightenment (1 July  to 22 August 2021)

As a descendent of the Eastern Torres Strait Islands, Australian Aboriginal, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islander and Asia, Robert Tommy Pau has a keen interest in the socio-political and historical events of the region.  With power, strength, and a unique and authentic fight for the preservation of Country, Pau’s work recites history in an inclusive and visually striking way.

Bulurru Dagil-Ndu: “The people are strong, the spirit is strong, the creator is strong” (26 June to 4 September 2021)

A dynamic and powerful assertion of the cultural strength coming out of Djabugay Art Centre, Queensland’s newest art centre.  The exhibition sets the tone for its exciting program of events and artistic projects.  The exhibitions is aligned with the aspirations and work currently being undertaken by the Aboriginal custodians of the lands and waters surrounding Kuranda on the western range of Cairns.

CIAF has been rescheduled for 10-14 November 2021 and along with its ‘live’ event, looks forward to unveiling exclusive digital content by way of artists and curators talks, performances, an online art store, and more via its online platform: www.2021.ciaf.com.au


We wish to advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers that this website may contain images and voices of people who are deceased.

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Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Ltd is a not-for-profit company with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) Status. All donations to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) are greatly appreciated and will contribute to CIAF operational costs. Your support assists CIAF in continuing to attract and nurture national and international recognition for the appreciation of the vital cultural contribution of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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