Thursday, 23 August 2012

Indigenous Art in Cairns

The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (now in its 4 year) was an experience I was lucky enough to enjoy from the 'inside'. Three weeks before it began I found myself agreeing to help the artists from the Yarrabah Arts Centre prepare for and attend the art fair for the very first time. They had been working hard for months and had a large number of paintings, pots and weaving ready for the fair.

We loaded up my new ute and headed into Cairns for a whirlwind introduction to the world of art fair, galleries, collectors and the all important arts bodies and funding people.

Our stand was colourful and the four artists spent most of their time there which was a great bonus. People were so pleased to meet them, hear the story behind the painting and also get a photo of them with the artist when they purchased one. The paintings literally flew out of the door.

On the few moments we were able to take time off the stand, there was so much else to see. The day was filled with various traditional dance groups including the winners of last years Laura Dance Festival, The Lockhart River Dancers. Their lead dancer, Josiah Oomeenyo, is the artist of several paintings we bought in Lockhart River last year so it was great to see him in action. I was even able to give him a photo I took last year at the Laura Dance Festival.
The other amazing dancers were the Taureg dancers from Torres Strait and they were thrilling with their dramatic island warrior style. There just wasnt enough time to see it all - its was fabulous.

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