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Indigenous Art Fairs attract record crowds for Torres Strait Islander Artists

The Gab Titui team at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.

The Gab Titui Cultural Centre has rounded off a successful festival season, sharing the art and culture of the Torres Strait with more than 66,000 people at two of Australia’s biggest Indigenous art fairs.

This year, the TSRA supported artists such as the Torres Shire’s NAIDOC Artist of the Year, George Gabey, as well as guest artists Rosaline Tomsana, Maletta Savage and Yessie Mosby at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.

The TSRA Chairperson, Mr Pedro Stephen AM, said that the fairs provided a valuable opportunity to reach art enthusiasts across the nation, and has proved to be highly successful for Torres Strait Islander artists.

“Art collectors travel from across the nation to attend the Cairns and Darwin fairs, and Gab Titui is proud to represent and promote our region’s artists each year,” he said.

“These fairs are a celebration of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal culture, and I am happy to see these events go from strength to strength.

“Our workshops and demonstrations that were held by Torres Strait artists, enhanced the fair’s program, by adding a rich and valuable cultural experience for the spectators.”

Mr Stephen commended the artists whose hard work and support allows Gab Titui to provide a unique and popular contribution to the fairs.

“In 2017 Gab Titui was able to present work by artists including painters, ceramicists, jewellers, printmakers and craftspeople and generated record sales,” he said.

“Gab Titui’s range of licenced merchandise from local Torres Strait artists has proved to be hugely popular at the fairs.”

These products feature designs by artists Nancy Naawi, Florence Gutchen, Jimmy K Thaiday, Ellarose Savage, Franklin Mye (Erub Arts); Joseph Au, Alick Tipoti, Weldon Matasia (Badu Art Centre); Mersane Loban (Moa Art), Gessa Pilot, Richelle Pilot, David Abednego, Moana Ahwang and Patricia Akee, and are now available in the Gab Titui store.

Artists who would like to get involved in Gab Titui’s outreach program or product development can contact the Gab Titui Cultural Centre’s Retail and Operations Officer on 07 4069 0700.

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