Founded by charity organisation First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation, this annual two-day fair on July 1 & 2 is held on Gadigal Land at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney.
Bursting with art, performances, panel discussions, bushfood and a communal weaving circle, the fair offers a unique opportunity to buy artworks directly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from remote community-owned art centres.
At the ethical marketplace, there will be more than 50 stallholders from remote Art Centres and Sydney’s Blak Market where you can purchase art, handmade jewellery, homewares, bush food, plants and more. All proceeds go directly back to the artist and First Nations communities.
This iconic annual event, now in its fourth year, showcases the latest award-winning ideas and innovations from Indigenous artists, designers and makers from remote art centres around the country, with each community bringing their particular range of unique handcrafted and limited-edition items produced using locally sourced materials, natural fibres, dyes and the distinctive style of their region.
Artists include Aurukun artist Vernon Marbendinar, wood sculptor Lex Namponan, painter Alison Puruntatameri, jewellery designer Krystal Hurst from Gillawarra Arts and screen printer and painter Lorraine Namarnyilk from Injalak Arts, amongst many others.
The diversity of artwork is extensive including painting, wood sculpture, jewellery, hand- printed textiles, fibre weaving and more. Visitors have the chance to browse the marketplace, meet the artists and experience Indigenous culture first-hand through cultural displays and workshops.
As part of the festival, three weavers from the Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Centre in East Arnhem Land – Charmaine Ashley, Anna Ramatha Malibirr and Julieanne Malibirr – will be part of an interactive weaving workshop where members of the public can experience fibre art by helping them make an installation. Their work involves processes known as coiling and twining, which involve stitching a single strand of treated pandanus fibre over a bundle of fibre known as the narka (bone) of the work.
In the spirit of the 2023 National NAIDOC theme For Our Elders, this year the festival also features a vibrant program of live music and Aboriginal dance performances, including singing performances by Barayagal, Radical Son and Bow and Arrow and dance performances from the Djiriba Waagura Aboriginal Dance Group and Mui Mui Bumer Gedlam Dance Group from the Eastern Islands of the Torres Strait.
National Indigenous Art Fair 2023 is suitable for all ages. This is an Art Fair that truly engages all five senses and gives you a unique opportunity to connect to 40,000 years of Indigenous Australian History while providing much needed support and backing to the remote communities and special individuals that keep these traditions alive.
Event: The National Indigenous Art Fair
Date: Saturday 1 July – Sunday 2 July 2023
Time: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Location: Overseas Passenger Terminal, 130 Argyle St, The Rocks, Sydney
Entry: Entry by gold coin donation