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Wandan Fashion event – Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

If you didn’t make it up to Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair (CIAF) this year then gee, didn’t you miss out. From the Welcome to Country at the opening Gala to the closing ceremony it was a festival of art and…

If you didn’t make it up to Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair (CIAF) this year then gee, didn’t you miss out. From the Welcome to Country at the opening Gala to the closing ceremony it was a festival of art and culture (and food!) that simply cannot be found anywhere else.

iMF was there to cover the Fashion Spectacle, Wandan, held at the Tanks Arts Centre in Cairns on Friday 14th July 2017, and we feel privileged to have been present. The sheer talent that was on show is almost indescribable, so as a writer I shall have to do my best to describe it or I won’t be paid.

I could give you a step by step, moment by moment description but that would not do it any justice. I shall instead give you just a few of the standout images and highlights and you will have to do your very best to book a ticket for next year.

There are children. Happy children having fun, beating drums and dancing. Dressed in every colour and shining like stars under the lamps and lights., the Kubin Kids opened the show with excitement and delightful poise.

They are followed by a stunning performance by dancers Hans Ahwang-Ware, Ebony Wirrer-George and the choreographer herself,  Fiona Wirrer-George . The dancers featured flawlessly in the runways throughout the show with choreography that complimented the models as they marched  and enhanced the meaning and coherence of the theme.

Then the fashion starts and trust me, it’s good. It’s so good that I was sent to just cover an event and from what I saw I could easily produce at least 7 feature articles (and probably will). You could take 80%, minimum, of the outfits, from any collection, place them in any retail outlet down south and run out of stock and that does not even begin to describe the volume of Story and Art behind each print or design.  iMF will definitely be bringing you more in-depth articles on the designers and designer workshops featured in this event in the very near future.

The designers showing were:

Bernard Lee Singleton

Chantel Henley

Fusing Sands

Elisa Jane Carmichael

Hopevale Arts & Cultural Center

 

Lynelle Flinders, Mona Lisa Anau & Emma Ganaia

Mornington Island: MIART

Simone Arnol

Uki Burchill

Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Centre

iMF enthusiastically applauds the efforts of Grace Lillian Lee, curator, Patrick Mau for music/sound, Marcia Ebdell-Blanch for Hair and Makeup, Allan Lee for the set design (all recycled materials) and all the very many volunteers and crew who brought us a performance that could easily be shown in any fashion Capital in the world.

by MG Bedford

In the 1980’s they sang Go West. In the 21st Century the song will be Go North. And rightly so.

iMF would like to acknowledge and give respects to the Communities, Elders, Artisans and Peoples of all who participated , the first People’s and Custodians of the land, water and seas. iMf would especially like to thank the children of the communities for bringing much joy to the event.

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