Ports North backs new photography award for CIAF

Published: 1st December 2017

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) will expand its annual art awards in 2018 to recognise the powerful medium of photography through a new $5000 prize backed by major partner, Ports North.

This year’s inaugural awards comprised five judging categories (Emerging, Innovation, Art Centre, Premier’s Award for Excellence and People’s Choice) that rewarded Queensland’s best and brightest Indigenous artists who shared in a prize pool of $45,000.

In adding the Ports North photographic award to next year’s CIAF Art Awards, there will be even more opportunities for Queensland’s Indigenous artists to shine through an increased prize cache of $50,000.

Ports North Chairman Russell Beer said the decision to support an additional CIAF art award built on a strong partnership which has developed over the years with Ports North’s Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal hosting the event.

“Ports North and CIAF have a winning partnership, as recognised at the Queensland Premier’s Reconciliation Awards this year, and we as an organisation are committed to helping grow this signature event and promote Indigenous art and culture.

“Photography is a fascinating mirror on the world – capturing real moments in time that add to our historical and social profile. This award is an exciting opportunity and we look forward to seeing what Indigenous photography talent will bring to CIAF 2018.”

 CIAF’s artistic director Janina Harding said photography is a medium that can give the artist agency to show the complexity of our culture and life experience in a minimalist way. 

 “We are excited at the prospect of adding photography to the list of award categories that will effectively broaden the scope of artworks submitted for the curated art exhibition in 2018 that will take their cue from the theme “Country” an artistic response to what it means to be on homeland.

 According to Ms Harding, the awards were introduced to support and grow professional development of the state’s talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

 “It is my opinion that over time, the CIAF Art Awards will brighten the spotlight on the vibrant identity of Queensland’s Indigenous art movement while inspiring artists to reach even higher in their practice,” she said.

About CIAF Art Awards

In 2018 the awards categories are:

  • Premier’s Award for Excellence sponsored by Queensland Government ($15,000)
  • Photography Award sponsored by Ports North ($5,000)
  • Emerging Artist Award sponsored by Marsh Property ($5000 prize)
  • Award for Innovation sponsored by Copyright Agency, Viscopy ($10,000 prize),
  • Art Centre Award, sponsored by Cairns Regional Council ($10,000 prize).
  • People’s Choice sponsored by Fibre Optics NQ ($5000)

No application process or fee required to enter, with all works on display within the art fair space, eligible for selection. 

 Only Queensland Indigenous artists exhibited at CIAF are allowed to enter with work created within 18 months of next year’s event. 

 Commissioned works within the art fair space are not eligible for the awards.

 The judging panel comprises three judges, selected annually, by CIAF Board and management.

 The judging of works will take place on Wednesday 11 July, 2018 with a formal presentation (with the exception of the People’s Choice award announced at the close of CIAF on Sunday 15 July) the following evening at CIAF’s Opening night party.

 About CIAF

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is the quintessential celebration of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. CIAF is unique in that it brings together and conveys the rich diversity of Queensland Indigenous art in its curated art fair exhibition featuring more than 150 artists.  Notably, CIAF is committed to providing an ethical point for sale for Indigenous art to support the career development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists across the state.

 CIAF was established by the Queensland Government in 2009 as a strategic initiative of Backing Indigenous Arts.  In support of CIAF realising its full potential, a Task Force was established in 2013 to transition CIAF outside of the Queensland Government and become its own independent entity.  CIAF Ltd is now a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and governed by a Board of Directors.

 In 2017 CIAF received the ultimate endorsement of its value and appeal recording more than 50,000 people who visited the Ports North-owned Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal and other satellite venues.  Since its inception in 2009, CIAF has welcomed 235,000 people to its various events, featured 1,300 artists and generated more than $6 million in art sales for Queensland’s Indigenous artists.

 CIAF is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts initiative, which aims to build stronger, more sustainable and ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts industry in the State.

For further information on CIAF 2018, visit www.ciaf.com.au


Media Contact: Pip Miller Mob: 0419 681543 Email: pip@pipmillerpr.com.au

This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts initiative, which aims to build stronger, more sustainable and ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts industry in the State.

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