12 September 2023

Torres art and culture shines at Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair

| Sarah Martin
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Torres Strait art and culture was on show at the annual Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair last month.

From the Torres Strait to Darwin, acclaimed artists Jimmy J Thaiday, Alick Tipoti, Joey Laifoo and James Ahmat showcased their works and shared their techniques at last month’s Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.

Mr Thaiday wonthe NATSIAA Telstra Multimedia Award for the second consecutive year, and also hosted a ghost net weaving masterclass and demonstration workshop, while Mr Tipoti was a finalist.

Internationally acclaimed artist and performer Joey Laifoo and award-winning carver James Ahmat Sr were also selected to showcase their incredible talents and art as participants and workshop facilitators in the 11 to 13 August event.

The artists joined representatives from more than 75 Indigenous art centres, including Moa, Badu and Erub art centres in representing First Nations art and culture.

“This was my first time to attend the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and I was looking forward to bringing Torres Strait Islander art and culture, and sharing my knowledge,” Mr Laifoo said.

“For me, it’s important that I bring back information from these events to share with the next generation to help them prosper in their careers, as dancers and artists.”

TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM said the opportunities provided by the event were invaluable for local artists and their career progression.

“This year we proudly supported artists who have been practicing their crafts for many years, Mr Ahmat and Mr Laifoo, to attend the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair,” Mr Stephen said.

“We also congratulate artist Jimmy J Thaiday on receiving the NATSIAA Telstra Multimedia Award for a second consecutive year and acknowledge esteemed artist Alick Tipoti as a finalist.

“The TSRA strives to identify opportunities for emerging and established artists.

“The art industry is constantly evolving and it is our responsibility to maintain and support the ongoing evolution of Torres Strait art and our art forms, while staying true to our ancestral narratives,” he said.

“The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair is a celebration of First Nations heritage, stories and culture, and we are proud to see Torres Strait Islander artists shine at the event every year.”

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