Launching NAIDOC Week

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National Indigenous Art and Culture Fair returns to Sydney this winter Indigenous artists from around Australia will come together on 1–2 July 2023 for the fourth National Indigenous Art Fair (NIAF) ⁠— a two-day ethical art market and festival taking place on Gadigal Land at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney.

This iconic annual event held on Sydney Harbour’s stunning foreshore showcases the latest award-winning ideas and innovations from Indigenous artists, designers and makers from remote art centres around the country, with each community bringing their particular range of unique handcrafted and limited-edition items produced using locally sourced materials, natural fibres, dyes and the distinctive style of their region.
From artworks to design objects, fashion, jewellery, homewares, and native dyed and hand-printed textiles, these artisans work closely with the resources found in their own environment.

“The NIAF also represents an incredible gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives from across Australia and all the different styles of art of those regions, with many artists travelling from the far corners of Australia — places like Aurukun in remote Queensland, and Ramingining, the Tiwi Islands and Yuendumu in the Northern Territory. It presents a rare and exciting opportunity for Sydneysiders to
interact directly with the makers,” said Peter Cooley, CEO of First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation, which organises the art fair.

In the spirit of the 2023 National NAIDOC Week theme, For Our Elders, the event will also feature a vibrant program of live music and dance performances and a weaving circle. There will also be an Indigenous bushfoods area, providing an opportunity for art fair visitors to explore the wisdom behind native Australian plants and edibles, and to sample flavours fresh from the BBQ, prepared by a celebrity guest chef or two.
Officially welcoming these remote practitioners to Sydney, local artists, designers, and makers from Australia’s leading authentic First Nations marketplace ⁠— the Blak Markets ⁠— will join them in the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

The fourth annual art fair is proudly presented by Sydney-based First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation, in partnership with the Port Authority of NSW, Destination NSW, University of Technology Sydney, Place Management NSW, the City of Sydney, Indigenous Business Australia, Nelson Meers Foundation, Mannifera Foundation, Herbert Smith Freehills, Macquarie Bank, the federal government’s Indigenous Visual  Arts Industry Support program and all the wonderful Aboriginal businesses attending.

Artists will travel to Sydney as part of First Hand Solutions’ Heart in Art program, which provides economic and professional development opportunities to Aboriginal artists working in remote communities. This includes a three-day professional development program for artists to connect them with urban-based arts and cultural institutions and creative arts workshops. This program also helps the artists to hone
their business and marketing skills.

“With a full schedule of live experiences, including talks, demonstrations, tastings, children’s workshops and performances from 10.00am daily, it’s a great day out for the entire family. Everyone’s welcome to look, listen, learn, and join in,” said Peter Cooley.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Sydneysiders to visit a gathering of Indigenous creatives all in one place. We also ensure the art fair is an ethical marketplace where you can buy artworks directly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from remote community-owned art centres in the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia,” he added.

As part of the festival, a group of Aboriginal weavers and fibre artists from local and remote communities will work together to create a woven sculpture, which will evolve before the eyes of visitors. Past weaving installations have featured the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Centrepoint Tower.
The 2023 NIAF follows on from the successful 2022 event, which attracted 10,000 visitors over two days.

The National Indigenous Art Fair will be held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal,
The Rocks, from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday, 1 July and Sunday, 2 July 2023.
Entry is by gold coin donation to support the remote artists attending the event.
The Overseas Passenger Terminal is easily accessible by public transport and on foot
from Circular Quay.

image Destination NSW

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