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13 Jul 2018

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Queensland’s outstanding artists determined by artistic response to homeland

Some of Queensland’s outstanding Indigenous artists and organisations have been recognised among peers at Cairns Indigenous Art Fair’s opening party held last night.

Speaking at the official opening, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch announced the winner of the Queensland Government’s prestigious Premier’s Award for Excellence is Erub Arts for Paddles which will receive $15,000 to support the continued development of the centre’s art practice.

“It is my great pleasure to present this award, which recognises and rewards the most outstanding work at the Fair,” Ms Enoch said.

 “I am delighted the Queensland Government has partnered with CIAF to create the Premier’s Award for Excellence and continue its support of CIAF Art Awards.

 “These Awards are a wonderful addition to CIAF that celebrate our talented artists, provide further development pathways for Queensland Indigenous artists, and increases the Fair’s national and international profile.

“Congratulations to all award winners, participating artists, and the team behind CIAF 2018. I am already looking forward to next year’s event and continuing to showcase the very best of Queensland’s Indigenous art to the world,” Minister Enoch said.

All category winners are:

Premier’s Award for Excellence sponsored by Queensland Government ($15,000)

Erub Arts for work entitled ‘Paddles’ 2017, made from Ghost Nets, rope and twine over a wire frame.

Art Centre Award sponsored by Cairns Regional Council ($10,000)

Girringun Aboriginal Arts Centre

Innovation Award sponsored by Cairns Airport ($10,000)

Michael Norman, Pormpuraaw Arts & Cultural Centre Inc for artwork ‘Pelican, 2018 crafted from ghost nets, plastic trellis and twine.

Emerging Artist Award sponsored by Lendlease ($5000)

Vernon Marbendinar, Wik & Kugu Arts and Crafts Centre for ‘Rainbow Birds & Parrots’ sculpture.

Photography Award sponsored by Ports North ($5000)

Naomi Hobson, The Kalan Clay House, Coen for photographic diptych

Peoples’ Choice Award sponsored by Fibre Optics NQ ($5000)

Mavis Ngallametta, Swamp on the way to Obun, 2018, natural ochres and charcoal with acrylic binder on linen, 200 x 342 cm

CIAF’s artistic director, Janina Harding said CIAF’s award recipients were decided on Wednesday by an esteemed judging panel comprising the curator of Indigenous Australian Art at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Bruce McLean, Professor Natalie King, curator of the Tracey Moffatt exhibition at the Australian Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2017 and National Maritime Museum Indigenous Programs Manager, Beau James.

The judges were overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of the art at CIAF and faced a difficult decision in selecting the winners when they viewed the exhibition yesterday.

All artists were asked to respond to this year’s theme of Connection to Country within the curated Art Fair exhibition.