National Indigenous Art Fair
Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney
2 – 3 July 2022
Launching NAIDOC Week
The National Indigenous Art Fair will return to the Sydney Harbour foreshore July 2-3 to showcase creations from First Nations artists and makers from around Australia for its third annual art market.
The art fair, which launches NAIDOC Week 2022, takes place at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks. The event provides Sydneysiders with the opportunity to buy ethical, authentic art directly from the artists, and it includes a two-day festival of Indigenous Australian art, song, dance, communal weaving, smoking ceremonies, bushfood and culture.
"The National Indigenous Art Fair symbolises an incredible gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives, with many travelling from the far corners of Australia " places like Haasts Bluff, the Tiwi Islands and Yuendumu. The event presents a rare and exciting opportunity for the broader community to interact directly with the makers and hear their stories," said Peter Cooley, CEO of First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation, founders of the event.
He noted the National Indigenous Art Fair is the first Indigenous art show to run live again since COVID struck two years ago. "So, we're kicking off the live Indigenous art fair scene around Australia to a massive Sydney market who are keen to get out and experience the art and atmosphere."
From artworks to fashion, from jewellery to homewares, and from native dyed textiles to children's puzzles, these inventive artisans are exemplars of sustainability, working closely with the resources found in their own environment, and weaving Care for Country and creativity into one.
Officially welcoming these 22 remote art centres to Sydney, local artists, designers and makers from Australia's leading authentic First Nations marketplace – the Blak Markets – will join them in the Overseas Passenger Terminal. In total there will be 50 stallholders at this ethical marketplace, with all proceeds going directly back to the artist and First Nations communities.
NSW regional and remote Indigenous art collectives join us for the first time
"This year, in addition to inviting remote art centres, the art fair will support seven NSW regional and remote Indigenous collectives and artists to get to Sydney to connect them with the local marketplace," said Mr Cooley.
"Australia-wide mobs have done it tough these past two years with the pandemic. And the NSW mob have also been impacted by fires and floods. Through the art fair, we want to come together in Sydney, highlight some of the good stuff that's come out of these disasters and showcase our resilience. It will be great to have these NSW collectives alongside us for the first time at our art fair," he added.
As well as all the inspirational art and design stalls, the National Indigenous Art Fair presents an impressive program of live cultural and performance experiences, running from 10am to 5pm each day.
Early arrivals each morning will have the opportunity to participate in poignant Indigenous smoking ceremonies and join a procession into the National Indigenous Art Fair, watching as each stall is blessed and cleansed.
Once inside, attendees will be able to enjoy singing performances by Mi-kaisha, Nadeena Dixon and Djinama Yilaga Choir and performances by Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness Aboriginal Dance Group and Wagana Dancers.
Panel discussion to highlight issues impacting Indigenous communities
On Sunday afternoon, there will be a panel discussion to tie in with the NAIDOC Week theme, Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up, with traditional owners, Indigenous leaders and artists talking about issues impacting their remote communities.
"Topics include the importance of protecting homelands with Babbarra artists, how fracking and mining have impacted their remote communities and their work as artists (Juluwarlu and Munupi), and the importance of Indigenous organisations taking charge in times of disaster as we saw at the Koori Mail with the Lismore floods," said Mr Cooley.
For those wanting to get hands-on, there is a unique opportunity to work alongside local Aboriginal weavers on a communal weaving project. Children's activities will also be a highlight, with storytelling in the sand circle, and a kids' dance and craft workshop offered on Sunday.
On the bushfood front, Indigenous chef Matthew Atkins will conduct cooking demonstrations, as will Aboriginal cuisine experts Mirritya Mundya. There will also be food trucks at the event, offering up a delicious bushfood feast, and the folks from IndigiGrow nursery will be selling a variety of native bushfood plants and herbs.
"With all of this available for a gold coin donation on entry, the National Indigenous Art Fair has to be the best value day out for Sydneysiders of all ages in history, not to mention an unmissable opportunity to kick off Sydney's NAIDOC Week celebrations in style," concluded Peter Cooley.
This third annual event is presented by National Indigenous Art Fair founders, Sydney-based First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation, in proud partnership with the following organisations: the Port Authority of NSW, ABC Radio, University of Technology Sydney, the City of Sydney, and support from the federal government's Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program and Indigenous Business Australia.
For more information, click here. The Overseas Passenger Terminal is easily accessible by public transport and on foot from Circular Quay.