Media Release 7 July 2022
Traditional performance and artefacts reflecting the cultural stories behind the paintings and sculptures of Aurukun’s Wik and Kugu Arts Centre artists are part of their exhibitions at the 2022 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF).
Aurukun Shire Council Mayor Keri Tamwoy said she was delighted to be in Cairns to see the work of the 12 Wik and Kugu artists exhibiting at the Art Fair, Big Sculpture Showcase and NorthSite Contemporary Art.
“Aurukun’s artists are very excited to be exhibiting in person for the first time since 2019 with several travelling to Cairns to be part of the event at the Cairns Convention Centre,” she said.
“The Wik and Kugu artists have a long and successful history of exhibiting their work nationally and internationally dating back to the 1980s.
“To further support the progression of local artists Aurukun Shire Council is seeking dealer, art centre and gallery membership of the Indigenous Art Code to reinforce our commitment to fair and ethical trade with Frist Nations artists and transparency in the promotion and sale of artwork.
“Songman Perry Yunkaporta and Songwoman Maree Kalkeeyorta from the Apalech clan will be joined by three dancers for a special performance for the curators and collectors attending CIAF.
“Apalech artists Keith Wikmunea and Heather Koowootha will tell the cultural stories of their community in ‘Yuk Wuy Min Ngantamp’ at NorthSite Gallery. Dilly bags created four decades ago are among the artefacts to be exhibited alongside their contemporary paintings.
“Keith has been exhibiting paintings and carvings that tell the stories of Kencherang, his country from his father’s side, since 2007 and this year his daughter Devena Wikmunea, an emerging artist, will showcase her paintings alongside her father’s carvings at the Art Fair.
“Keith and Vernon Marbendinar have created two sculptures of trees from their homelands with carved totems such as the galah and cockatoo sitting on the branches for the Big Sculpture Showcase which reflects CIAF’s Masters of Country theme.
“My sister Rhonda Woolla is also exhibiting her feather flower sculpture at the Big Sculpture Showcase.
“Participating in CIAF supports our Wik Kath Min Community Values Statement to drive social, cultural and economic improvements in Aurukun.”
Aurukun Shire Council acknowledges the Federal and State funding which enables the Wik and Kugu Arts Centre to support local artists.