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CIAF 2024

CIAF announces BLOOM fashion program recipients

09 Feb 2024

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Cairns Indigenous Art Fair has named Lynelle Flinders of Sown in Time and Desert-Rain Magpie of Magpie Dreaming the inaugural recipients of its new and innovative fashion and textile design accelerator program, BLOOM.

Having answered the call for expressions of interest launched towards the end of 2023, the successful recipients have an exceptional opportunity to propel their creative fashion and textile enterprises into a vibrant and sustainable future.

Both Lynelle Flinders and Desert-Rain Magpie will receive business mentorship, skills training, and industry connections in the coming months, culminating in a performance-ready collection for the 15th anniversary season of CIAF, 25-28 July 2024.

BLOOM is an innovative program central to CIAF’s ambitious and transformative four-year plan to promote the development of new, high-quality First Nations creative experiences that will boost employment and economic participation throughout Queensland.

CIAF 2024

According to CIAF’s Artistic Director Francoise Lane, BLOOM aligns beautifully with the event’s strategic plan and is the first program of its kind in the organisation’s 15-year history.

“We created BLOOM for fashion design and textile artists to support the production of quality fashion garments and textiles that are retail market ready.

“Launched in 2013 under the curation of Grace Lillian Lee of FNFD, CIAF’s fashion performance essentially pioneered Australia’s Indigenous fashion movement and is a much-loved highlight of our annual program.

“BLOOM is about taking the next step and propelling the movement beyond performance for performance’s sake into a viable, Queensland-based industry,” Ms Lane said.

BLOOM Fashion Design Collection Development Package recipient Lynelle Flinders said: 

“I am grateful to CIAF for this opportunity to learn from industry professionals and take the next step in my design and business journey. I am also keen to share what I learn with others. It’s never too late to dream.”

“The inaugural Bloom Textile Development mentorship is a chance to work with industry leaders and mentors to grow my professional artistic practice and learn about the world of textile design.

“After attending CIAF for the first time in 2023, I was inspired by what I saw at the fashion shows and would love to learn more about the work behind the scenes.

“I am currently studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Indigenous Australian Art at Griffith University, so the knowledge I gain from this mentorship will be shared with my Indigenous cohort, and it will benefit many of us emerging artists interested in textile arts.

“I am very grateful to CIAF for this opportunity to work with First Nations organisations and develop work with them to a high professional standard."

Images: Sown in Time by Lynelle Flinders. Model: Benita Williams