The annual two-day festival of Indigenous art, design, dance, music, food and culture returns for NAIDOC Week over the weekend of July 2 and 3.
Themed Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up, the fair will feature artworks from remote Indigenous art centres and artists as well as stalls that regularly appear at the ever-popular Blak Markets. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives are travelling from the far corners of Australia – places like Ceduna, Haasts Bluff, the Tiwi Islands and Yuendumu – presenting a rare and exciting opportunity for Sydneysiders to interact directly with the makers.
Everyone is welcome to look, listen, learn and join in the program of talks, demonstrations, tastings, workshops, and performances kicking off from 10am daily.
Experiences at the fair include two personally guided tours by the fair’s curator and creative director, Lyndsay Urquhart. An Aboriginal oral historian, Lyndsay is a Munkata Yuin woman from the Dharawal community of Western Sydney and uses filmmaking as a methodology.
A bushfoods adjunct will provide an opportunity to explore the secrets and wisdoms behind native Australian plants and bushfoods and to try samples fresh from the barbecue. Indigenous chef Matthew Atkins will conduct cooking demonstrations, as will Aboriginal cuisine experts Mirritya Mundya. There will also be food trucks at the event, and the folks from IndigiGrow nursery will be selling native bushfood plants and herbs.
This is the fair’s third iteration, presented (and founded) by First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation. In 2019, NIAF hosted 30 remote art centres from around the country alongside 25 Aboriginal stallholders and attracted 10,000 visitors, with all profits are re-invested into young Indigenous community programs. The last two fairs have not been able to proceed due to Covid, so this year is a very welcome and exciting return for the event.
The National Indigenous Art Fair takes place at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in the Rocks, and entry costs a gold coin donation. Stay tuned for program info and guest announcements at the website and the Facebook page.