24 August 2023

Torres Strait artistic heritage displayed for the 2023 Gab Titui Indigenous Arts Award

| Chisa Hasegawa
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The judging panel of the 2023 Gab Titui Indigenous Arts Award is standing side by side and smiling at the camera. On the left is judge Avril Quaill, who is a woman dark brown hair pulled back and a navy blue shirt. In the middle is cultural advisor John Armitage, who is a man wearing a black cap, navy blue and white floral button down and black pants. On the right is cultural advisor Flora Warrior who is a woman with curly black hair tied back, sunglasses on her head and a bright turquoise dress with pink and orange flowers.

The 2023 Gab Titui Indigenous Arts Award judging panel. Left to right: Avril Quaill (judge), John Armitage (cultural advisor), Flora Warrior (cultural advisor). Photo by George Serras.

Entries for the 2023 Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award (GTIAA) have closed and the judging process is underway to select the winners.

Winners of 11 award categories will share a monetary prize of over $37,000, with the first place artist taking home $10,000.

The GTIAA was established in 2008 by the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) to gather a thorough representation of works being created in the remote communities of the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula regions.

Leading the judging panel for the first time this year is Nunukul woman and esteemed curator Avril Quaill, who commended the calibre of entries and their deep connections to the Torres Strait.

“It’s not until you actually get up here and see the colours in the landscape, the animals, and even the winds and the patterns on the water, that you realise you’re learning about the Torres Strait through these artworks,” Ms Quaill said.

Ms Quaill had the support of cultural advisors Flora Warrior and John Armitage, who provided cultural context throughout the judging process.

Mr Armitage said that it was an honour to work alongside Ms Quaill, who is of Indigenous heritage and had an understanding of First Nations culture.

“When we explained the context of the artworks and the story associated with them, she immediately connected with the pieces and identified what made each submission special,” he said.

Ms Warrior commended the works submitted to the secondary student categories and noted the importance of encouraging young people to participate in this show of culture.

“It was heartening to see their inclusion, as it not only develops their abilities and confidence, but also ensures the continuation of our artistic heritage,” she said.

The 2023 award exhibition will open on November 2 at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre, with all works on display until December 16.

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