Skip to content

Torres Strait Islander artists shine at the 17th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair

The Torres Strait Regional Authority’s (TSRA) Gab Titui Cultural Centre has supported two Torres Strait Islander artists to attend the 17th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) from 11-13 August 2023.

Internationally acclaimed artist and performer Joey Laifoo and award-winning carver James Ahmat (snr) were selected to showcase their incredible talents and art as participants and workshop facilitators.

Both travelled alongside TSRA’s Gab Titui Cultural Centre team, joining more than 75 Indigenous Art Centres, including Moa Arts, Badu Arts and Erub Arts Centres in representing First Nations art and culture.

“This was my first time to attend the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and I was looking forward to bringing Torres Strait Islander art and culture, and sharing my knowledge,” Mr Laifoo said.

“For me, it’s important that I bring back information from these events to share with the next generation to help them prosper in their careers, as dancers and artists.”

TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM said the opportunities that develop at these events were invaluable for local artists and their career progression.

“This year we proudly supported artists who have been practicing their crafts for many years, Mr Ahmat and Mr Laifoo, to attend the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair,” Mr Stephen said.

“We also congratulate artist Jimmy J Thaiday on receiving the NATSIAA Telstra Multimedia Award for a second consecutive year and acknowledge esteemed artist Alick Tipoti as a finalist.

“The TSRA strives to identify opportunities for emerging and established artists.

“The art industry is constantly evolving and it is our responsibility to maintain and support the ongoing evolution of Torres Strait art and our art forms, while staying true to our ancestral narratives,” he said.

“The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair is a celebration of First Nations heritage, stories and culture, and we are proud to see Torres Strait Islander artists shine at the event every year.”

The TSRA-supported participants Joey Laifoo and James Ahmat (snr) joined fellow Torres Strait Islander artist and two-time NATSIAA Telstra Multimedia Award recipient, Jimmy J Thaiday as masterclass facilitators in the 2023 DAAF Public Program:

  • Mr Thaiday hosted a ghost net weaving masterclass and demonstration workshop.
  • Mr Ahmat demonstrated his carving techniques as a master of Pearl Shell Jewellery, teaching participants how to design and carve their own shell pendants.
  • Mr Laifoo shared his expertise with lino and screen-printing masterclasses and attendees created their own screen-printed artworks, taking home a unique piece of Torres Strait Islander art.

Learn more about the TSRA at

  • Torres Strait Islander artists shine at the 17th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair
  • Torres Strait Islander artists shine at the 17th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair

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