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14 - 23 August 2020

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Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal on the stage at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival VAMFF

28 January 2016

Melbourne fashion fans will have a single opportunity to witness the exciting fashion performance of Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal (Sea and Rainforest Dreaming) when it takes a lead position in the VAMFF Cultural Program.

Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal on the stage at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival VAMFF

Melbourne fashion fans will have a single opportunity to witness the exciting fashion performance of Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal (Sea and Rainforest Dreaming) when it takes a lead position in the VAMFF Cultural Program.

Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal brings wearable art to the VAMFF on 3 March, 7.00pm at the Showtime Events Centre, South Wharf. This is a fashion performance that creates a visual dialogue, portraying an artistic and cultural story of Tropical Queensland First Peoples’.  Textiles, prints and fashion have featured strongly in the annual CIAF event that is a quintessential celebration Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture. 

Snippets of the colours, textures and forms that make up the visual narrative will play on Federation Square’s Big Screen throughout February, giving fashionistas a glimpse of what they will see in the one night only performance.

CIAF Artistic Director, Janina Harding says, “This is a one and only chance at VAMFF to see the story inspired by the sea and rainforest of tropical Queensland, told through a performance of wearable art pieces.”

Curated by Grace Lillian Lee and choreographed by Fiona Wirrer-George, the unique fashion experience features 20 male and female models from Tropical North Queensland, including the Torres Strait Islands.

The VAMFF opportunity for some of the models represents not only exposure but a sense of the unknown, as they embark on their first time out of their paradisiacal homelands,” Ms Harding says.

“They receive modelling and choreography training and get a chance to show the work of the artists and designers involved.”

This performance fulfills the CIAF vision: as a platform for Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to present and promote their distinctive artistic and cultural expression.”  

Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal combines handcrafted textiles, art and fashion with performance, expressing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforest environs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Eleven designers collaborate to showcase wearable fashion that include felting techniques from Mornington Island, beading, feathers and bright colours reflecting the Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef’s beauty, and natural fibres, stencils, hand dyed fabrics, weaving combined with wood, that express the northern rainforest environment.

The Erub Erwer Meta (Darnley Island Art Centre) contribution, The Shoreline Collection- Ged Nor (Home Reef), is inspired by the traditional dress of Torres Strait Islander women. Created from digitally printed silks with patterns and colours reflecting the beauty of the island’s coral reef surrounds.

The artists of the Yalanji region, from deep in the rainforests surrounding Mossman Gorge, present weaving integral to traditional Yalanji culture, women’s lives and their stories. It is utilized in the production of natural fibre accessories, designed to compliment their hand-printed collection.

With stylised make-up and hair, the young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander models will present contemporary versions of cultural adornment, combined with music and dance to create a performance that reflects the richness of the unique cultures of Far North Queensland.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival
Cultural Program Project Series
Birrimbu Dulgu Bajal
Thursday 3rd March
Showtime Events Centre
61 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf
7.00m and 9.00pm
Supported by Arts Queensland

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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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