A celebration of Indigenous culture, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) held its first art market in 2014 to help people in the Canberra region engage directly with remote communities and their stories, as told through their art.
Offering remote art centres a chance to sell their art directly to a metropolitan market with 100% of sales going back to the art centres, artists and their communities, the Indigenous Art Market has seen steady growth each year in patronage from visitors, as well as the volume and diversity of art on offer.
Last year’s art market saw over 2,000 visitors come to Acton Peninsula to browse over 2,500 artworks on sale.
The Indigenous Art Market houses a range of diverse fine art including paintings, homewares, textiles, didgeridoos and weavings produced in a vast array of styles every year.
A new element for 2018’s art market will be live cooking displays by celebrated and renowned Indigenous chef, Mark Olive.
Mr Olive is known for fusing native and Indigenous Australian ingredients with contemporary cooking techniques to create a dynamic and unique gastronomic philosophy. His hit series The Outback Café is televised around the world.
Food by the Kransky Brothers will be available on site as will coffee from Bellair Coffee.
Artists from communities across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and some local artists, including Lynnice Church, will all take part.
Ms Church told Canberra Weekly she felt honoured by the opportunity to showcase her artwork and share her background as a Ngunnawal/Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi woman.
“It’s an opportunity for me as a local traditional custodian in Canberra and surrounding region to showcase Ngunnawal art, culture and our continuing connection to this place,” she said.
“The art market is a wonderful gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from all over Australia, from many tribes and backgrounds to display their amazing art, talent and stories.”
Working in the style of contemporary Aboriginal art, Ms Church is self-taught and has painted since she was a young girl.
“It’s about still sharing knowledge of our past and making it relevant in the context of an Aboriginal woman in today’s world,” she said.
“Art is very powerful, it connects people, challenges, educates and visually stimulates.
“I’ve always been passionate about all forms of art as expression, particularly Aboriginal art and culture and interpreting this into a modern day landscape.”
Ms Church was also particularly excited by the opportunity to connect with other artists and to discuss their art and listen to the stories behind them.
“I love that Canberra is being used as it has always been traditionally for gatherings as a meeting place for the market.
“The support from AIATSIS is just incredible and the effort they put in to make this happen and how the community embraces it,” she said.
The AIATSIS 2018 Indigenous Art Market will run 7-8 December at 51 Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula. Visit aiatsis.gov.au/iam2018 for more information.