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CIAF 2024

Successful CATAPULT program recipient Matilda Nona

Congratulations to our inaugural CATAPULT artists!

07 Feb 2024

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The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair is thrilled to announce the successful applicants for CIAF CATAPULT, a new professional development program providing new pathways and career development for independent Indigenous artists in Queensland.

CIAF Artistic Director Francoise Lane said the 2024 CIAF CATAPULT cohort was an incredibly talented and diverse group of artists who are showcasing exciting new work and expanding creative boundaries.

CATAPULT is a two-part exhibition and professional development program for First Nations Artists, designed to create critical pathways for independent artists who do not have formal gallery representation and who are not already working with an Art Centre.

The inaugural participant in the major CATAPULT Professional Development program is Matilda Nona, who will receive customised support and opportunities that aligns with her artistic interests and curiosities. The funding supports the opportunity to broaden the artist's practice, create new and ambitious work, and connect with valuable industry contacts. Applicants are required to dedicate six months to completing the Professional Development Package. Ms Nona will also receive support as part of the CATAPULT Showcase program.

Ms Nona lives and works on Badu Island in the Torres Strait. Her work is vested in maternal ceremonies and imagery drawn from the land and sea, in this case through prints.

Ms Nona said the program would allow her to elevate her arts practise and develop a forward vision for her career.

"I've been practicing art across many mediums for some time now, and I'm ready to explore more,” Ms Nona said.

“CATAPULT will give me the opportunity to focus and dedicate myself, over the next few months, on developing my vision for my practice and help me map out where I want to be in the future. I'll get to work with arts industry professionals, which is an opportunity I'm grateful to have and wish for all remote and regional artists".

Recipients in the CATAPULT Showcase group are Melissa Stannard, Matilda Nona, Arabella Walker, Joel Sam, Robert Tommy Pau, Cathy Snow, Libby Harward, Obery Sambo, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins and Tori-Jay Mordey.

The artists now have the opportunity to present new work for exhibition within the CIAF Art Fair alongside 25 industry exhibitors, including commercial galleries, local galleries, established independent artists, and Art Centres. Participants will have the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work and take part in key networking events with buyers, VIPs, collectors, and curators during CIAF in July 2024.

CIAF 2024

Ms Lane said CATAPULT was entering a bold new phase after being in its pilot stage over the past two years.

“In its pilot stage CATAPULT delivered significant results for participants, including exhibition opportunities to showcase new work and expand creative boundaries, leading to the sale of work, institutional acquisitions, and gallery representation,” Ms Lane said.

“Now, for the first time in CIAF’s 15-year history, the launch of our new professional development program for independent artists will provide participants with a unique opportunity to exhibit within an Art Fair context, expand their arts practice, and gain access to mentors and tailored experiences that align with their unique artistic interests and curiosities.

“CATAPULT aims to foster artistic growth, cultural preservation, and community engagement along with funding support to develop and showcase new work for exhibition at CIAF and partnering venues each year.”

The CATAPULT program is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.