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CIAF 2023: Theme Announced

25 Oct 2022

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Weaving our Future: Claiming our Sovereignty

Ahead of its 2023 season, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) has released a rich and thought-provoking theme to guide and shape creative responses, reflecting Queensland’s two distinct Indigenous cultures and the topic of ‘sovereignty’, from both traditional and contemporary perspectives. CIAF’s 2023 theme, Weaving our Future: Claiming our Sovereignty, has been 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 narratives.

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.  

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 which encourages meaningful cultural and artistic exchange,” Ms Lane said. 

CIAF’s 14th season will be held over five days from 13-16 July, 2023 presenting visitors and community with a multi-dimensional program of mainly free and ticketed events spanning: art exhibitions and markets, music, dance, fashion, food, crafts, theatre, workshops, and more.

The event is staged from the Cairns Convention Centre precinct as well as key arts and cultural hubs throughout tropical Cairns (Gimuy) for example: NorthSite Contemporary Arts, Cairns Art Gallery, Bulmba-ja Arts Centre, Cairns Performing Arts Centre, Court House Gallery, and Tanks Arts Centre.

Since 2009, CIAF has proved a powerful drawcard for visitors to Tropical North Queensland from around Australia and overseas, as a showcase of Indigenous cultures that would otherwise be difficult to experience, due to the vast distances involved in travelling to remote communities across Queensland.

Each year, visitors to CIAF are presented with a range of wonderfully new and immersive opportunities to engage meaningfully with community, while also being educated and entertained from a mostly free and inclusive program", said Ms Lane,

In its 13 years, CIAF has evolved into so much more than an event or a place where you can acquire ethically-sourced and marketed artwork, into a ‘movement’, a meeting place and, in essence, a holistic expression of two very distinct and diverse cultures – past, present, and future".

#CIAF2023's theme will set the tone for more in-depth storytelling from artists and pronounced appreciation of their voices by the Art Fair visitors. CIAF’s full program of events for 2023 will be announced in coming months, along with many other exciting announcements, whereas exclusive digital content relating to the 2022 Art Fair (CIAF’s most successful to date) is available to view at: www.ciaf.com.au

📷Nathanu, Rock Paintings Series, Alick Tipoti, 2021, Fibreglass Resin, Sand, Stain. First shown Where's Your Permit? exhibition, CIAF 2021. Photograph by Michael Marzik.