10 May 2023

Pormpuraaw artists recognised at CIAF

| Matt Nicholls
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ALREADY recognised around the world for their broad range of artworks, the Pormpuraaw Art Centre received a gong closer to home on Friday night.

At the virtual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair awards, the Cape York art centre was named as winner of the $10,000 Cairns Regional Council Art Centre Award.

Judges commended the artists at Pormpuraaw for their community approach to art that “shows innovation and diversity, including their dedication to developing designs and techniques resulting in characterful ghost net sculptures, paintings, and lino prints”.

Pormpuraaw Art Centre manager Paul Jakubowski said the not-for-profit organisation would have a meeting to discuss the best way to spend the $10,000.

“I know the committee is interested in buying a (Toyota) Troopie so they can transport people and the artwork,” he said.

While CIAF organisers tried hard to put on the full show this year, the threat of COVID-19 saw the much-loved event delayed and then staged virtually.

“It’s a real shame for us because its really important as artists to get that gallery experience and talk to collectors,” Mr Jakubowski said.

“Some of the artwork that was made this year is the best we’ve ever produced.”

A sawfish sculpture (pictured) sold to the National Gallery of Victoria this year and the Pormpuraaw centre prides itself on making art for all kinds of buyers.

“We have prints for sale that are $50 and we’ve sold sculptures for up to $20,000,” Mr Jakubowski said on Sunday.

Artists at the Pormpuraaw Art Centre get 65 per cent of takings, with the rest going to the centre for materials, promotion and administrative work.

“We pride ourselves on being available for the whole community and we would have more than 100 people come through the centre each year,” the manager said.

“This recognition (at CIAF) is just a reward for all the hard work the artists and people behind the scenes have put in this year.”

You can buy artworks online at pormpuraawartculture.com

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