NIAF returns to Sydney in July 2021

The National Indigenous Art Fair returns to The Rocks in early July, marking the beginning of NAIDOC Week 2021 with an ethical art marketplace.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

3-4 July 2021 sees the return of the National Indigenous Art Fair, with Indigenous artists from across the nation set to come together at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at The Rocks in Sydney, coinciding with the beginning of NAIDOC Week.

This year in its third iteration, the two-day art market and program of events provides the unique opportunity to ethically buy artworks directly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from remote community-owned art centres.

In the spirit of the NAIDOC Week 2021 theme – Heal Country, Heal the Nation – the Fair will include a vibrant program of live music and Aboriginal dance performances, an Indigenous sculpture walk, weaving circles, and more than 25 Blak Markets stallholders from around New South Wales selling art, jewellery, gifts, homewares, and Indigenous bush food and plants.

With participating artists hailing from far-flung locations in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia, the line-up of art centres (with more to be confirmed) includes:

  • APY Art Centre Collective (Amata, APY Lands SA)
  • Arlpwe Artists Aboriginal Corporation (Ali Curung NT)
  • Artists of Ampilatwatja (Ampilatwatja NT)
  • Arts Ceduna (Ceduna SA)
  • Ikuntji Artists (Haasts Bluff NT)
  • Munupi Arts And Craft Association (Melville Island NT)
  • Nayri Niara (Tasmania)
  • Numbulwar Numburindi Arts + Durrmu Arts (Numbulwar Community NT)
  • Spinifex Hill Studio (South Hedland WA)
  • Tjanpi Desert Weavers (Alice Springs NT)
  • Tjarlirli & Kaltukatjarra Art (Tjukurla Community WA)
  • Wangaba Roebourne Art Group (Roebourne WA)
  • Warlukurlangu Artists (Yuendumu NT)
  • Warnayaka Art & Cultural Aboriginal Corporation (Lajamanu NT)
  • Wei’Num Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts and Crafts Corporation (Qld)

NIAF 2021 follows the successful 2019 fair, which welcomed 30 nationwide remote art centres, 25 Aboriginal stallholders from around New South Wales, and attracted 10,000 visitors to the same venue.

A highlight this year promises to be the realisation of the third in a series of largescale woven sculptures, created collaboratively on site by Aboriginal weavers and fibre artists from diverse remote communities. With the previous sculptures in the series representing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, punters are left to guess which Australian icon might be next.

NIAF 2021 is presented by National Indigenous Art Fair founders, Sydney-based First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation, in proud partnership with the Port Authority of NSW, the Australia Council, University of Technology, Sydney, the City of Sydney, and support from the federal government’s Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program.

First Hand Solutions CEO, Peter Cooley said, “We feel privileged to host these incredible artists in Sydney; and to provide a platform for them to promote and sell their artworks.”

The National Indigenous Art Fair will be held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks from 10am-5pm Saturday July 3, and 10am-4pm Sunday July 4, 2021. Entry by gold coin donation to support First Hand Solutions’ Aboriginal youth programs.

Image: APY artists in Sydney for NIAF 2018. Photo courtesy: First Hand Solutions.

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