Celebrate contemporary Indigenous Australian art, design, food & culture in Sydney during NAIDOC Week  

[by Julie Clark]

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Image: supplied

Sydney, get ready! For two uniquely immersive days of Indigenous Australian art, design, food and culture, at the National Indigenous Art Fair, 3 - 4 July 2021, at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks.

 

This iconic annual event held on Sydney Harbour’s stunning foreshore showcases the latest award-winning ideas and innovations from Indigenous artists, designers, and makers from remote art centres around the country; each community bringing their own range of unique handcrafted and limited-edition items, produced using locally sourced materials, natural fibres, and dyes.

 

From artworks to design objects, fashion, jewellery, homewares, native dyed textiles, and kids puzzles, these inventive artisans are exemplars of sustainability, working closely with the resources found in their own environment, weaving Care for Country and creativity into one.

 

The National Indigenous Art Fair also represents an incredible gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives, with many travelling from the far corners of Australia – places like Ceduna, Haasts Bluff, Ramingining, the Tiwi Islands, Weipa and Yuendumu – presenting a rare and exciting opportunity for Sydneysiders to interact directly with the makers.

Officially welcoming these remote practitioners to Sydney, local artists, designers, and makers from Australia’s leading authentic First Nations marketplace - the Blak Markets, will join them in the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

 

Whilst a new Indigenous bushfoods adjunct, located just a few steps away, provides an extraordinary opportunity to explore the secrets and wisdoms behind native Australian plants and bushfoods, not to mention sampling flavours fresh from the BBQ, prepared by a guest chef or two.

 

With a full schedule of live experiences including talks, demonstrations, tastings, workshops, and performances from 10am daily, it’s a great day out for all the family.

 

Everyone’s welcome to look, listen, learn, and join in! In acknowledgement of the NAIDOC Week 2021 theme of Heal Country, Heal our Nation, this year’s National Indigenous Art Fair will shine the light on the artform of ghost net sculptures, developed in response to an urgent environmental crisis.

 

Around the world’s oceans, thousands of lost, broken and abandoned fishing nets are causing devastating damage, entrapping and killing vast quantities of marine life.

 

Aboriginal communities around Australia – predominantly in the Gulf of Carpentaria, are responding by collecting these drifting ghost nets from the ocean and weaving them into beautiful sculptures – both large and small scale, often in acknowledgement of the sea creatures that have lost their lives.

 

Throughout the National Indigenous Art Fair 2021, these award-winning eco-artworks will be showcased; and visitors will be invited to join with guest weavers from around the country, to experience working with recycled ocean plastics to create a ghost net sculpture of their own.

 

See you there! The National Indigenous Art Fair, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney, 10am to 4pm Saturday July 3 and Sunday July 4, 2021. Entry by gold coin donation.

 

Keep an eye out at niaf.com.au/ facebook.com/NIAF2021 for all of the latest National Indigenous Art Fair news, including program, workshop and special guests announcements.

 

The National Indigenous Art Fair 2021 follows the successful 2019 fair, which hosted 30 remote art centres from the Northern Territory, South Australia and West Australia, alongside 25 Aboriginal stallholders from around New South Wales, and attracted 10,000 visitors over two days.

 

This third annual event is presented by National Indigenous Art Fair founders, Sydney-based First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation, in proud partnership with: the Port Authority of NSW, the Australia Council, University of Technology Sydney, the City of Sydney, and support from the federal government’s Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program.

 

In the lead up to the Fair, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from remote communities will travel to Sydney, thanks to support from First Hand Solutions’ Heart in Art program, which provides economic and professional development opportunities to Aboriginal artists working in remote communities as well as NSW, Tasmania and Queensland.

 

First Hand Solutions CEO, Peter Cooley said, “The National Indigenous Art Fair is a unique opportunity to meet artists from some of Australia’s most isolated communities and browse a huge variety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and hear the stories of this art directly from the markets.

 

“We feel privileged to host these incredible artists in Sydney; and to provide a platform for them to promote and sell their artworks, and host workshops demonstrating their unique arts and cultural practices.”

 

The National Indigenous Art Fair will be held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks 10am to 4pm Saturday July 3 and Sunday July 4, 2021.

 

Entry is by gold coin donation to support First Hand Solutions’ Aboriginal youth program. The Overseas Passenger Terminal is easily accessible by public transport and on foot from Circular Quay.

 

For more information visit niaf.com.au/ facebook.com/NIAF2021

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