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Gab Titui Cultural Centre shines a light for artists to engage in the digital economy

As Art Fairs all around the world move online – in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic – the Gab Titui Cultural Centre has quickly adapted, preparing to participate in two of the country’s most prestigious Indigenous Art Fairs as they both go digital for the first time this August.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture landscape continues to evolve and deliver both digital inclusion for artists and ethical purchasing opportunities for art collectors seeking to expand their collection.

The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) and the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) are two of Australia’s most attended Art Fairs. This year, the DAAF’s digital platform will enable anyone, anywhere to ethically purchase a diverse range of artwork direct from Indigenous-owned Art Centres from across Australia.

CIAF will deliver a new and interactive, digital festival platform including virtual galleries, performances and live presentations, with a new online Market Place. This year CIAF will be hosting several online exhibitions including its centrepiece exhibition titled Climate Change.

Gab Titui Cultural Centre has supported four artists; Rosie Ware, Joey Laifoo, Stanley Laifoo and Harry Nona, to feature in this critical exhibition that investigates how First Nations artists respond to the climate impacts on their homelands.

For the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, the Cultural Centre has produced a suite of videos for online performances and artists talks showcasing the rich cultural practises of George Pedro, Rodney Mabo and the Wugalgau Kaiin Thithui Dance Troupe.

In recent months the Gab Titui Cultural Centre’s Gallery Shop swiftly transitioned to an online eCommerce store to ensure artists could continue to achieve promotion and sales of their artworks while the region was closed to visitors for COVID-19. This platform will be promoted throughout the Art Fairs with Gab Titui calling out for artists in preparation for purchasers seeking authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork during the Indigenous Art Fair season.

This transition to digital online exhibitions, art retail and cultural education, demonstrates the critical importance of accessible digital infrastructure for genuine economic pathways for our Torres Strait Island and Aboriginal people.

Gab Titui Cultural Centre continues to deliver economic opportunities for the region’s artists and cultural practitioners said TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM. “It is wonderful to see how the Torres Strait Digital Expansion Project – a long-term commitment by the TSRA, Telstra, the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and the Queensland Government – is coming to fruition. The expansion project is capable of delivering the technology and innovation needed for multiple social, economic, educational, health and community safety outcomes for communities across the region”.

The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair takes place online during 6-14 August 2020 and Cairns Indigenous Art fair will be presented online during 14-23 August 2020

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