Cairns Indigenous Art Fair to weave a magical message in 2023

CIAF-Anne-Nunn-Studio-2022-photo-by-Edwina-CircuittCairns Indigenous Art Fair is back in 2023 for its 14th season with a new and engaging program celebrating the distinct and diverse arts and culture of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

From opening night on Thursday 13 July to the closing ceremony on Sunday 16 July 2023 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair or CIAF will welcome, inspire, educate, and entertain art collectors, curators, and visitors from near and far to its world-class hub at Cairns Convention Centre and satellite venues across Cairns. These include Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns Court House Gallery, North Site Contemporary Arts, and Tanks Arts Centre.

What is CIAF? Integrating visual art exhibitions and high-end art markets with music, cultural dance, fashion performances and more, CIAF is Queensland’s peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander celebration of arts and culture presented annually since 2009. Held over four days in July, the program of mostly free and ticketed events comprises a blend of traditional favourites with fresh newcomers.

Raising the broader, national consciousness of Queensland’s First Peoples and the issues, conversations and experiences that shape their narrative, CIAF’s 2023 theme, Weaving Our Future: Claiming Our Sovereignty has been styled by the organisation’s Artistic Director, Francoise Lane, appointed to the position in September 2022.

Ms Lane said the 2023 theme is both apt and timely and while nuanced, is destined to culminate in a powerful and pivotal collection of artistic expression. “We are living in a time where a collective voice is being positioned to drive change across our state and nation,” said Ms Lane.

“Within this context, CIAF’s 2023 theme was developed to both inspire and harness the sentiments of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. CIAF has and always will be a platform for meaningful cultural and artistic exchange.”

“In its 13 years, CIAF has evolved into so much more than an event or a place where you can acquire ethically sourced and marketed artwork.  In 2023, CIAF is a ‘movement’, a meeting place and, in essence, a holistic expression of two very distinct and diverse cultures – past, present, and future,” said Ms Lane.

In 2023, a much-anticipated program highlight will observe CIAF’s innovative spirit and regard as the pioneer of Australia’s Indigenous fashion industry with a milestone fashion performance marking 10 years.

Added to this will be a raft of exciting new activations including a signature exhibition of large-scale, 3-D woven works using natural fibre. This year will also see the return of CIAF’s popular children’s program of guided fun, colourful and age appropriate art and craft activities.

Save the Date & Stay in the Loop, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair runs 13 – 16 July 2023. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Anne Nunn Studio 2022 – photo by Edwina Circuitt | Cairns Indigenous Art Fair