CIAF stages 2022 comeback in world-class hub

After two online iterations, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) returns with a physical edition bound to entice collectors.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

Much-loved art fair and Queensland’s ultimate showcase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF), has announced its return with a physical edition in 2022, offering something for all kinds of collectors.

Spanning five days from Wednesday 6–Sunday 10 July 2022, the 13th annual season of the Fair offers a multidimensional program of mostly free, family friendly events that foster an inclusive and ethical arts marketplace. CIAF also transitions to the award-winning Cairns Convention Centre this year, allowing for the display of a greater number and scale of works within a safe and climate-controlled environment.

Since its inception in 2009, CIAF has attracted significant attention from both international and national institutional and private collectors, curators, media, and the general public. This year featuring the work of approximately 300 visual artists with another 150 live performers, the Fair represents an exciting opportunity for collectors to purchase art by a diverse range of Indigenous practitioners from Far North Queensland Art Centres.

For younger collectors looking to get their foot in the door, the art market offers the perfect opportunity to kickstart a collection. More seasoned collectors may be interested in CIAF’s dedicated Collectors & Curators Program (CCP), which invites curators from major institutions and respected collectors from across Australia and the world to converge at the Fair.

Hosted by Hetti Perkins and Tony Albert, CCP offers a range of exclusive and complimentary visual and performing arts events, providing Queensland Indigenous artists and galleries that represent them with exclusive exposure to influential and appreciative curators and collectors from many institutions, galleries and collections.

Completing her seven-year tenure at CIAF’s helm in 2022, Artistic Director Janina Harding concludes with the theme ‘Masters of Country: an artistic celebration of Queensland First Peoples’ knowledge and resourcefulness of Indigenous plants and trees’.

Capping off a series of related themes that speak to Country, Ms Harding expects the latest theme to provoke a rich and expansive response from the state’s artists.

“Queensland has the most diverse Indigenous species of any state or territory, with 14,000 known species,” she said. “It is not a coincidence that Queensland’s First Peoples have an innate connection with Indigenous plants and trees… Trees are our history books and a testament of our resourcefulness.”

Punters can expect further programming and highlight announcements to be made in the coming months. For more information, visit

This article was posted 16 February 2022.

Main image: Sponsors Preview CIAF Online 2021. Image by CIAF Evolution Project trainee Luke Schrieber. 

Thumbnail image: Cathy Snow, Hairy Lillies (detail), 2021, from CIAF 2021 online iteration exhibited by Ancient Journeys.


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