Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) Aurukun Dogs

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Indigenous Art

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Indigenous art has exploded onto the world stage with a multi-coloured flourish. In Tropical North Queensland, Indigenous art is fresh, distinctive, vibrant and alive. Artists like Torres Strait Islander Alick Tipoti’s unique intricate lino prints are on display in museums globally. Paintings, sculpture, wearable art and ceramics reflect a dizzying smorgasbord of styles from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the rugged remoteness of Cape York and the lush tropical rainforest of the coast.

From the simple string crafts of the Kaiadilt people to the turtle shell masks of Badu Island and geometric painted throwing sticks by Eastern Cape rainforest communities, this area has produced art that exists nowhere else in Australia.

Aboriginal art isn’t new – far from it. Artistic expressions were originally rock carvings, body painting and ground designs, dating back more than 30,000 years. Quinkan Country in Laura is home to the spine-tingling prehistoric rock paintings listed by UNESCO as among the top 10 rock art sites in the world and Jarramali Rock Art Tours have the keys to unlock this treasure trove of country.

For the present century, head to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair – an epicentre for domestic and local collectors, the July event is the place to meet artists alongside their showcased exhibits. Learn the talents of world-renowned artist, Brian “Binna” Swindley and take your own one-hour painting workshop at Janbal Gallery in Mossman. Admire local artworks at ethically curated art galleries throughout Tropical North Queensland and visit Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Thursday Island, the keeping place for culture and art of the Torres Strait.

Jaramalli Rock Art Tours

Hope Vale Arts & Cultural Centre is at the heart of Guugu Yimithirr culture

Bright paints are used on artwork at the HopeVale Arts & Cultural Centre

Admiring art at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

Explore Indigenous Art

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