Learn about Australia’s History Through the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair
By Kaelie Piscitello
Interested in art created by the Aboriginal people of Australia? The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair on Larrakia Country, set to take place between August 11-13, 2023, will celebrate an explosion of art from Australia’s indigenous people.
Through the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, the DAAF Foundation hopes to provide an exciting platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander design, art, and culture.
Art Centers And The Role They Play
Australia’s indigenous community, or the Aboriginal people, comprise one of the oldest continuous cultures on earth.
Before Europeans came to Australia in the late 1700s, the Aboriginal community spanned Australia, creating over 250 nations with their own cultures and customs.
Meanwhile, the Torres Strait Islanders, also honored in this art show, come from the islands of Australia, including Papa New Guinea.
In today’s post-British invasion of Australia, many Aboriginal people live in poverty due to unemployment, education gaps, and lack of housing. Art centers function as meeting places for Aboriginal people to engage in cultural activities and rejuvenation.
It allows Aboriginal people to express their creativity in culturally relevant ways. People frequenting these art centers practice traditional Aboriginal arts including storytelling, visual arts, and textiles.
Art centers also provide many social services for Aboriginal people such as job training, career pathways, education, and enterprise. Centers also provide support for family-owned businesses, legal problems, transportation, and aid with financial management. These centers introduce Aboriginal people to modern technology, serving as technological hubs for many Aboriginal communities.
More About the Art Fair
Founded by Appoline Kohen, the Darwin Australian Aboriginal Art Show encourages Aboriginal art production across Australia, including traditional dances, storytelling, visual arts, fashion, textiles, and music.
The DAAF Foundation supports art made in ethical environments by allowing Aboriginal artists to thrive during a showcase acknowledging the Larrakia people as the traditional owners of Australian land.
During the fair and art show, people can view, purchase art and meet with the artists themselves. The creators of this event come from remote regions, coastal areas, and urban and rural places. All proceeds from art sales will go directly to the composers and their communities.
Anyone over sixteen can volunteer at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair. Volunteers do not need experience to participate, and the foundation will provide them with a t-shirt, parking pass, entry to the event, and refreshments afterward.
DAAF Opening Events
Two related events to the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair will occur several days before the formal art show.
Country to Couture and the National Indigenous Fashion Awards. Country to Couture comprises two fashion shows that will both take place on August 8, 2023.
This year, the runway will showcase 23 collections across the shows and mix Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander textiles, storytelling, fashion, and unique cultural collaborations.
The National Indigenous Fashion Awards on Wednesday, August 9, Australia, will honor Indigenous fashion excellence through a prestigious awards ceremony. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders will showcase their work and receive recognition for their dedication to fashion, art, and cultural preservation.
This year, a record number of over 60 designers have received nominations for awards, so the art show attendees should not miss this event.
The art show will then begin with the 17th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Opening Ceremony. There, attendees will first experience work from over 1500 established and emerging artists from more than 70 indigenous-owned art centers.
In addition to viewing artists’ work at the art show, attendees can partake in artist masterclasses and learn from the connoisseurs themselves.
Two will take place each day of the art show, and those taking the classes can learn how to make jewelry, paint with watercolors, weave, create pearl shell jewelry, and complete screen printing. Children also can engage in age-appropriate workshops at the event.
The art show also features free cultural performances scattered throughout each day. Viewers can watch Peppiminarti dancers and red flag dancers and see a presentation by the Munupi Arts and Culture and Jilarma Arts and Crafts Association.
Artists showcasing their work will also give talks and demonstrations daily to share their expertise with the incoming crowds. The DAAF Arts Industry will also have daily displays and broadcasts for people to enjoy, including a meet and greet with the Indigenous Fashion Projects team, copies of The Art Collector’s latest editions, and a presentation by the Indigenous Art Code, Arts Law, and the Copyright Agency about their services and how to become a member.