Premier and Arts Minister Anna Bligh last night revealed a vibrant and expanded program for
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) in 2010, which this year adds theatre and film to this
acclaimed visual and performing arts event.
“In 2009 more than $500,000 worth of art work was sold, with income returning to artists and
their communities, and the event also injected almost $1 million into the Cairns economy over
three days,” she said.
“In recognition of the huge potential this event has for the region, the government is injecting an
additional $1.2 million to support the growth of the Art Fair in 2010 and 2011, and this year
Tourism Queensland has come on board to promote CIAF and Indigenous cultural tourism to
“Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, 20-22 August, is unique among international art fairs, bringing
galleries together with Indigenous art centres at a major marketplace, which is complemented
with dance, music, childrenŸs activities, talks and forums.
“The Art Fair delivers social, cultural and economic returns to individuals and the community
and it is fitting that the 2010 program highlights are announced on the final day of National
Reconciliation Week, as this event is one of my Government’s key commitments to žclosing the
The Premier said the success of the first Art Fair revealed a growing market for Queensland
Indigenous art, as well as community hunger to learn more about the rich Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander cultures of the state.
“To build on this demand and to take our state’s Indigenous cultures into a new realm, I am
delighted to announce an exciting new project with Queensland Rail which will see two Tilt
Trains covered in art work by Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists,” Ms Bligh
“Qantas has its painted aircrafts, now Queensland will be world renown for its Indigenous art
covered Tilt Trains.”
“These unique canvasses will have a captive audience – last year 40,000 passengers travelled
on the two Tilt Trains earmarked to be covered with artwork.
“What an amazing sight and experience the artistic Tilt Trains will provide as they travel across
our stunning State.” the Premier said.
“One Tilt Train will be adorned with artwork by Judy Watson, Arone Meeks, Sally Gabori and
Alick Tipoti who have been specially commissioned for the project.”
“The second Tilt Train will be open for expressions of interest from all Queensland Indigenous
“Funding of $750,000 through art+place, the Queensland Government Public Art Fund, will see this project delivered by Arts Queensland and Queensland Rail. The first train is set to leave Brisbane for Cairns in October this year.”
Ms Bligh said art work by more than 200 Aboriginal and Torres Islander artists will be on sale at CIAF, complemented by a selling exhibition curated by Artistic Director Michael Snelling at Cairns Regional Gallery.
“There is also a high level Symposium with keynote addresses by Dr Brenda L Croft and leading Torres Strait Islander printmaker Alick Tipoti,” she said.
“The 2010 program also features artistsŸ talks and panels, an expanded schools program, Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival, free art activities for children and families and a special performance by one of AustraliaŸs hottest new stars Dan Sultan as headline act for the Art FairŸs concert, which is also the opening event of Cairns Festival.”
Premier Bligh said art+place had also funded another innovative project at CIAF, investing $50,000 in a temporary Indigenous Art Trail which will wind through the Cairns Botanic Gardens, connecting the Art FairŸs main site of Tanks Arts Centre with Djumbunji Press Kick Arts Fine Art Printmaking.
“The project will be delivered by Cairns Regional Council and will feature art work complementing the works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists on sale at the Art Fair.”
For more information on Cairns Indigenous Art Fair visit www.ciaf.com.au
Media contact: 07 32244500
CIAF dates: Friday 20 and Saturday 21 August, 10am – 6pm and Sunday 22 August, 10am – 3pm. Location: Tanks Arts Centre and Cairns Regional Gallery.