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Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Dates and Theme 2022

[by Pip Miller]


Janina Harding. Image: supplied

Australia’s premier Art Fair and Queensland’s quintessential showcase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is back in 2022 with a vibrant and multifaceted program of exhibitions and events between Wednesday 6 and Sunday 10 July.


Encompassing visual and performing arts from Queensland’s two very distinct and diverse cultures, CIAF’s 13th annual season welcomes the return of visitors and collectors to its much-loved and inclusive convergence in the tropical city of Cairns, albeit within a sparkling new events hub.


In 2022 CIAF comes of age, transitioning from Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal to the newly refurbished and impressive surroundings of the award-winning, Cairns Convention Centre, that will expand the number and scale of works on show to visitors within a safe and climate-controlled environment.


In 2022 CIAF’s Artistic Director Janina Harding will complete her seven-year contribution and tenure at the helm with theme, Masters of Country: an artistic celebration of Queensland First Peoples’ knowledge and resourcefulness of Indigenous plants and trees.


Capping off a series of related themes that talk to Country through a focus on sacred sites, water preservation and climate change and the continuation of 2 intergenerational and cultural storytelling, Ms Harding said Masters of Country will provoke a rich and expansive response from the state’s emerging and established artists.


“Queensland has the most diverse Indigenous species of any state or territory, with 14,000 species known species,” said Ms Harding.


“It is not a coincidence that Queensland’s First Peoples have an innate connection with Indigenous plants and trees. We were born into the oldest living culture in the world. It is no wonder that we have a distinct knowledge regarding the use of plants and trees from our homeland. We have always had and always will have experts on plant knowledge, so that in today’s terms our people are botanists, doctors, nurses, chefs, nutritionists, gardeners, architects, builders, pharmacists, arborists, physicists, and horticulturists.


“Queensland First Peoples also have oral stories, and lived experience derived from the many trees on Country. We have birthing trees for childbirth, scarred trees for watercraft and utensils, tree markers for significant or sacred sites, knot trees for directional signposts on Country and carving to tell our cultural stories. Trees are our history books and a testament of our resourcefulness,” she said.


Spanning five days between Wednesday 6 and Sunday 10 July 2022, the event will feature the work of approximately 300 visual artists and 150 performers across the multidimensional program of mostly free, family friendly events that foster an inclusive and ethical marketplace for aspiring and established art collectors, curators, and the public.


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