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More than 50 entries vie for the 2023 Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award

2023 GTIAA Judging Panel L-R John Armitage (Cultural Advisor), Avril Quaill (Judge), Leitha Assan (Curator), Flora Warrior (Cultural Advisor) – Photo Credit George Serras

Entries for the 2023 Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award (GTIAA) have closed with artwork judging underway to select the winners who will share in over $37,000 worth of prizes.

Leading the judging panel this year is Nunukul woman and esteemed curator Ms Avril Quaill. She has held significant curatorial positions with the National Gallery of Australia and the Queensland Art Gallery.

As a first-time GTIAA judge, Ms Quaill commended the calibre of entries and expressed her delight at the high standard and diversity of the submissions.

“The Award entrants have utilised variety and diverse media, woven with tradition,” Ms Quaill said.

She was particularly moved by the innovative approach taken by artists, especially in the realm of 3D sculptural works that skilfully conveyed ancient ancestral narratives while remaining deeply connected to the Torres Strait.

“It’s not until you actually get up here and see the colours in the landscape, the animals, and even the winds and the patterns on the water, that you realise you’re learning about the Torres Strait through these artworks,” she said.

During the judging process, Ms Quaill was supported by respected Cultural Advisors, Ms Flora Warrior and Mr John Armitage, who provided essential cultural context in key decisions.

“I was impressed with the quality of works submitted by our young people, for the Secondary Student Work category,” Ms Warrior said.

“It was heartening to see their inclusion, as it not only develops their abilities and confidence, but also ensures the continuation of our artistic heritage.

“I look forward to seeing more talented young artists emerge from outer islands, as they are inspired by the works submitted in this year’s Art Award,” she said.

Mr Armitage said he was honoured to be a cultural advisor, working alongside Ms Quaill and Ms Warrior.

“Being of Indigenous heritage herself, it was very easy to work with and advise Ms Quaill during the judging process,” Mr Armitage said.

“When we explained the context of the artworks and the story associated with them, she immediately connected with the pieces and identified what made each submission special.

“I was very humbled by the variety of works submitted, especially seeing art from all regions of the Torres Strait, including the Northern Peninsula Area region,” he said.

The Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award (GTIAA) was established in 2008, by the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), as an initiative to gather a thorough representation of works being created in the remote communities of the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area.

TSRA Chairperson Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM acknowledged the judging panel on their dedication to maintaining cultural integrity and impartiality.

“It is a mammoth task to judge more than 50 high-calibre entries, and we thank our 2023 judging panel for their invaluable time and expertise to ensure the Award stands as a testament to the exceptional artistic talents within the Torres Strait community,” Mr Stephen said.

“As the anticipation builds to unveil the winning entry, the TSRA extends its gratitude to all artists who have participated in the 2023 Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award.

“We look forward to celebrating the richness and diversity of our art and culture at the Award’s ceremony and opening night.”

The 2023 Award exhibition will open on 2 November 2023, with all works on display until Saturday 16 December 2023.

  • Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award
  • Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award

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