DAAFF’s Nina Fitzgerald and Claire Summers: “Creative processes provide a safe space”

7 March 2021

As part of International Women's Day 2021, AdNews is celebrating women in the industry. We look back on how Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) rose to change the creative fabric of Australia, as told by DAAFF Nina Fitzgerald and Claire Summers.

There has never been a better time to support Australian Indigenous artists and designers.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art provides a conduit to connect to the rich culture, stories, traditional practices, and histories of our First Nations Peoples.

These creative processes also provide a safe space to communicate ideas and transcend the cultural and historical barriers that prevent us from understanding one another.

The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) exists to provide vibrant and exciting platforms for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture with a reputation for innovation, diversity and cultural integrity.

The next art fair is August 6-8. Head here to find out more. 

ous organisation, owned and governed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres and peak bodies it represents.  

This business model is particularly prominent in remote regions of northern and central Australia.

Art Centres play an important role in maintaining and strengthening cultural practices.

They operate as meeting places and offer opportunities for training, education, career pathways and enterprise.
They also play a vital economic role in remote communities.

This economic aspect is crucial not only to the Indigenous art and craft industry, but also to the health of Indigenous communities generally.

Art Centre sales are often the only externally generated source of income. 

The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008 took its toll on the Indigneous fine art industry, with a further assault in 2011 when investors were prohibited from displaying artworks purchased through self-managed superannuation funds.

It was a difficult time for artists, Art Centres and commercial galleries alike.

It therefore became imperative that Art Centres found ways to diversify their businesses and attract new markets.

The re-emergence of textile art and design was a prime example of how the implementation of different mediums and techniques, that are positioned at an affordable price point, can awaken a sleeping giant.

Indigneous textile design was contemporary, of high quality, and was suddenly being devoured by audiences again! 

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) was one of the first promotional platforms that dared to pair textile design with fine art.

This caused controversy within the broader arts sector, and the art fair was criticised for combining ‘craft items’ with contemporary art.

However, the response to textiles at DAAF defied the critics, and now there are some twenty-five Art Centres that produce fabric as a core part of their business.

This article first appeared in full on Ragtrader. 

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at adnews@yaffa.com.au

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus