About 6 months ago I became really interested in attending Cairns for the Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF). Cairns and the far north have been a favourite destination for me and my little family but for this visit I was keen for a child free adventure. I had just missed out on attending CIAF a few years back having been in Cairns for a Rabbitohs game. My husband was keen for some one on one time with the kids so it looked like a great plan. Then I thought of a travel buddy and called my dear friend who agreed to come.
Upon arrival to Cairns we were relaxed and happy to not be blasted by the heat. We had arranged tickets for the Opening party and it was a fantastic event. The crowd was huge and abuzz with excitement. The artwork included some amazing work that deserved a second viewing away from the crowds. The venue inside and out was superb and the fireworks were deadly. I loved watching the dancers and then Christine Anu, Mau Power and the legendary Archie Roach, but loved the crowds reaction equally. It was deadly running into old friends too from Brisbane.
We spent most of the next day visiting the Cairns Regional Art gallery, Centre of Contemporary Arts (COCA), Canopy Arts and Umi Arts. Viewing this art made me excited to attend the Fashion Show that night but unfortunately it was a sold out event. I have heard some rave reviews about the Fashion Show and will book tickets early next time.
On the Saturday after a lovely walk on the Esplanade and breakfast and a much needed siesta, we attended Fogarty Park for Big Talk One Fire. We checked out the stalls and then sat down and enjoyed the music. I loved the huge crowd and number of families that turned up.
Saturday night included attending an exhibition launch at Canopy Arts. I particularly liked the artwork of Roy McIvor and Danny O’Shane. I am also a new fan of the Italian restaurant on the corner of the Esplanade!
We returned to the Cruise Liner Terminal on Sunday and took our time checking out all of the pop up stalls and of course buying a few small presents for the kids. Although some of the artwork was out of my price range, it was nice to pick up a few reminders of the fair.
On the Sunday afternoon we attended Blak Release film festival at the COCA. I love the theatre it was shown in being smaller in size. Of special note was two films by John Harvey, ‘You Turn,’ and, ‘Real Man’. Both short films were well acted and directed with solid storylines.
I really enjoyed the child free time to feel and be myself for a few days attending a wonderful Indigenous Arts event. I enjoyed getting ready and even putting makeup on. It certainly beats madly getting ready in the last 5 minutes prior to leaving at home (because the kids always come first). I enjoyed sleeping in, eating every meal without disruption and being able to kick back and have a couple of drinks (which I rarely do these days). I enjoyed sitting quietly on the balcony checking out the scenery and having many laughs and a few late nights. We definitely made the most of our few days in Cairns. CIAF certainly made an impression on me. I am wondering just how I can get paid to visit events like CIAF in the future!