Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is Queensland, Australia’s premier Indigenous art fair. Since 2009, CIAF has celebrated and promoted the works of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander contemporary and traditional artists to the world. As a result of CIAF’s commitment to showcasing the highest quality fine art, our artists are now highly regarded. Aside from establishing a culturally-safe platform for visual artists to share their talent in an ethical marketplace, CIAF has grown to reflect the creativity of a much broader section of the artistic community. For many years now, CIAF events also focus on music, dance and fashion; providing visitors to the fair a full immersion into some of the oldest living and thriving cultures on the planet.
Janina Hardings shares her views!
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2023
13 – 16 July 2023
Insights Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
What would you say is the DNA of CIAF?
Our people and our culture, as well as the enormous and inspiring legacy of our ancestors. This is at the core of what we do at CIAF and drives us to uphold ethical market-place practices for our artists and celebrate our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures through a festival platform.
What type of galleries are chosen to exhibit, and why?
CIAF mainly exhibits works by artists associated with Indigenous Art Centres from across the state of Queensland. Such artists are our primary stakeholders. CIAF provides them with a culturally-safe platform to express their creativity and tell their stories, whilst also enjoying healthy economic returns. However, we also showcase independent artists who have no representation, as well as some commercial galleries (which are done so on an invitation-only basis).
What is the price range of pieces? Who is the average buyer?
We cater for both the fine art market, as well as for art lovers wishing to purchase works that are more affordable. Our Art Fair features pieces ranging from a few thousand dollars, to many tens of thousands. Our Art Market features a more eclectic range of art, artefacts and craft wares.
“CIAF mainly exhibits works by artists associated with Indigenous Art Centres from across the state of Queensland.”
© Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
Who is the typical attendee of CIAF?
CIAF is a public event and open to everyone! Our attendees are made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from regional and remote Queensland, local Cairns residents, intra and inter-state travellers from across Queensland and Australia’s capital cities. As Cairns is a tourism hub in Tropical North Queensland we also attract international visitors. CIAF also hosts a prestigious Collectors & Curators Program, made up of private collectors and institution directors and curators from across Australia and abroad.
What strategy – physical as digital – will you adopt in medium to long term?
From March 2020 the world stopped. Events, especially Art Fairs, were impossible to hold in a physical sense. CIAF decided to go digital and hold our art fair online. The digital platform included pre-recorded and livestream performances, artist talks, a symposium, conversations and virtual galleries with online This year (2021) we are back to holding a physical event, at a bigger venue for the art fair and art market! We will continue to feature content online as part of a hybrid platform.
What are two other art fairs you would suggest?
Tarnanthi in Adelaide, South Australia and Desert Mob in Alice Springs.
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