Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

​​​​​​​​​​​Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
Weaving a wonderful world​


“The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair is a ‘movement’, a meeting place and, in essence, a holistic expression of
two very distinct and diverse cultures – past, present, and future.” 

Artistic Director, Francoise Lane

Celebrating its 14th season, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) returned with a new and engaging program celebrating the distinct, diverse, and vibrant arts and culture of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples across Gimuy (Cairns) renowned venues.

CIAF welcomed visitors back with a four-day program from opening night on 13 July 2023 to the closing ceremony on 16 July 2023. The Fair  always aims to inspire, educate, and entertain art collectors, curators, and visitors from near and far to its world-class hub at Cairns Convention Centre and satellite venues, including Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns Court House Gallery, NorthSite Contemporary Arts, Bulmba-ja and Tanks Arts Centre.

Since its inception in 2009, CIAF has attracted more than one million visitors to its events. The Fair has engaged thousands of Queensland Indigenous artists, displaying true narratives, expressing dynamic evolution of cultural and innovative artistic techniques and practices. It offers visitors and the community a multi-dimensional program of mostly free and ticketed events, integrating visual art exhibitions and markets, music, food, cultural dance, fashion performances, workshops and more.

​This year’s theme, Weaving Our Future: Claiming Our Sovereignty was styled by the organisation’s Artistic Director, Francoise Lane to raise the broader, national consciousness of Queensland’s First Peoples and the issues, conversations and experiences that shape their narratives.

“Within this context, CIAF’s 2023 theme was developed to both inspire and harness the sentiments of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. CIAF has and always will be a platform for meaningful cultural and artistic exchange,” Ms Lane said.

Dancers in the CIAF Fashion Performance;
CIAF Fashion Performance

Artwork at the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre
Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre
Photographer: Blueclick Photography

​The much-anticipated program was a reflection of CIAF’s innovative spirit as it leads the way forward for Australia’s Indigenous fashion industry through a 10-year milestone fashion performance, showcasing Queensland's most talented Indigenous fashion designers, artists and creatives. With reference to the chosen theme, CIAF’s 2023 Fashion Performance Curator Lynelle Flinders said “CIAF’s Fashion Performance is an opportunity for designers to ground their designs with a personal sense of sovereignty, stories, and worldviews, while weaving in a myriad of colours, unique cuts, and textural fabrics.”

Alongside this, there was a variety of exciting new activations including a signature exhibition of large-scale, 3-D woven works using natural fibre. The popular children’s
program filled with fun and colourful art and crafts activities also made a return.

CIAF has become a signature cultural event and is a powerful drawcard for visitors to Tropical North Queensland both from around Australia and internationally. 

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