• There were many amazing performances and performers from Cape York whose work was showcased at CIAF (CIAF)Source: CIAF
Artists will have the opportunity to showcase their work in a digital version of the annual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.
Bernadette Clarke

18 Apr 2020 - 1:22 PM  UPDATED 18 Apr 2020 - 1:22 PM

On the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) has explored new and interactive ways for Artists to showcase their work. 600 artists will take to the digital stage with cultural dance, music, comedy, fashion and art.

Wanda Gibson, a Guugu Yimmithirr Warra woman, told NITV News she is excited that artwork from Cape York still has the opportunity to be seen.

"I'm very happy. We thought it would be at a standstill, but doing that for us is a great help. From where I come from, all of us are excited."

"I'm really thankful that CIAF still wants to do it because it's advertising our painting and getting it out so people can see what we're doing."

Artistic Director of CIAF, Erub woman Janina Harding, said CIAF wants to support Queensland artists and communities at this uneasy time.

"It's hard for everybody, but particularly for artists because of the impact it's having on their careers and their economic situation. Things seem to be stagnant."

"What we're trying to do with CIAF is to make the most out of a bad situation by building a digital platform."

"So, we can capture what we usually do in a physical sense, but opening up for artists to have an opportunity to promote their work online."

Ms Harding said with CIAF going ahead it's giving the Artists something to do in isolation and bringing them together.

"I know a lot of the artists in the Cape, and the Torres Strait are trying to assist with artists in community by dropping off materials so they can continue their work in isolation."

"It's great that these things are happening because as you can imagine you know when you're in communities that are in lockdown and you don't have that interaction, it's a bit damaging for your emotional wellbeing."

"In the case of the Torres Strait and Queenslanders, if they get the chance, they are going to Country [and] going back to the old way, having intergenerational transfer of knowledge."

The theme of this year's art fair is inspired by issues related to climate change and the official dates of the event will be announced soon.