Skip to content

2023 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair People’s Choice Award Winner: Douglas Tamwoy

Douglas Tamwoy CIAF Peoples Choice Award Winner & Charles Turner TSRA

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) joined Far North Queensland artists and communities to celebrate the successful 2023 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) last month.

For the first time, TSRA sponsored the People’s Choice Award, an opportunity for TSRA to commit in a greater capacity to CIAF and to partner with the art industry to promote Indigenous Art.

Among the many exceptional artists, Douglas Tamwoy stood out and captured the hearts of visitors and art enthusiasts alike, winning the coveted People’s Choice Award for his stunning artwork Trade Wind.

TSRA Culture, Art, and Heritage Programme Manager Charles (Chicka) Turner presented the award and congratulated Douglas on his achievement and recognition.

“We are thrilled to announce Douglas Tamwoy as the recipient of the 2023 People’s Choice Award at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair,” Mr Turner said.

“His artwork Trade Wind truly resonated with CIAF patrons and we congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.”

For Douglas Tamwoy, winning the People’s Choice Award is an honour, solidifying his future as a recognised artist.

“I am deeply humbled to receive the People’s Choice Award for my artwork Trade Wind. My creations are a reflection of my identity and the stories of my people,” Mr Tamwoy said.

Trade Wind tells the story of ancient trading practices in the Torres Strait. Stories like these are vital for my kids and the next generation to learn and understand, as it is their responsibility to carry on our traditions and stories.

“I am grateful to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and the Torres Strait Regional Authority for providing a platform for new artists like me to share our stories with the world.”

Douglas Tamwoy is a proud Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal man from Bamaga, with bloodlines to Badu and Erub. As a FIFO worker, he balances his work roster with creating art that celebrates cultural stories shared with him from his Grandparents.

“I have started work on a new 3D piece, which I plan on submitting into the CIAF 2024 Awards. I look forward to revealing it next year,” Mr Tamwoy said.

TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM said the TSRA has a longstanding partnership with the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, supporting the positive benefits it has on artist careers.

“Since its inception, CIAF has provided a vibrant marketplace for our local artists to participate in, and connect with collectors, galleries and art enthusiasts,” Mr Stephen said.

“TSRA is a proud sponsor of CIAF, which for many of our artists is their first national exposure and opportunity to share their works with international visitors.”

The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair provides a vital platform for Indigenous artists like Douglas Tamwoy to share their stories, culture, and artistic brilliance with the world. CIAF remains committed to promoting, preserving, and celebrating the diverse Indigenous art forms and heritage of the region.

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.