Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2020


Featuring new work by:
David Bosun
Fiona Elisala Mosby
Paula Savage
Flora Warria


CIAF’s Virtual Exhibition opened to the public on August 14, 2020.

The works were installed and photographed at Tank Arts Centre in Cairns.

In this video David Bosun talks about his work Zugubaw Baidham, a series of large painted panels depicting the shark constellation that appears in the northern hemisphere.

David Bosun – Zugubaw Baidham

Zugubaw Baidham is part of a complex web of indicators that act as guides for living in these traditional lands and waters around Mua Island. It signals the best time for fishing and acts as a navigational tool.

A pioneer of the print tradition in Zenadh Kes (the Torres Strait) and a senior artist at Moa Arts, David’s work draws from his deep cultural knowledge and often focuses on two things at once; maintaining culture, language and stories for future generations and using contemporary media and art making practices to re-interpret that knowledge to make it more accessible and relevant.

Fiona Elisala Mosby – Woer-waiepa

Woer-waiepa is an installation about the rising sea levels in Zenadh Kes (the Torres Strait) It comes from her experience on Saibai where, as a result of global warming, the sea water on the land can be ankle deep.

“The land I have walked on, the land of my ancestors, is slowly being overrun by the rising sea levels. In earlier times our forefathers built a sea wall to protect the land and they still do these works (zageth) today as the waters continue to rise. It is this evolving line that holds the ocean back now. The traditional mark making (minaral) of our region is inscribed on the prints, like the bedrock that protects us in other ways.”

The work is designed to be installed in a variety of ways, according to the space in which it hangs. Like the rock walls built to hold back the ocean, these works on paper are also modular and structurally fluid.



Paula Savage – Coral Bleaching

Paula Savage’s father was a pearl diver in Zenadh Kes. She and her brother worked the trawlers with him, looking after the boat, the engine and the compressor while he dived. She was raised on water so she knows the reefs well. She has lived them.

Coral Bleaching is a series of three large woven works on paper, each describing the colours of the reefs around Mua Island as they change due to warming ocean temperatures.

In the past, “in the healthy reef, the coral grows full of colour and light. Everything is vibrant and alive”. But things are changing now. The past is gone. The reefs are dying.

The three works describe these changes, the colours fading as the past slips away.



Flora Warria – Murai Kurid Kiar (crayfish)

“This species of rock lobster, or crayfish – murai kurid kiar – sheds it’s shell mainly during the cool season around about June and July but in recent times it has been shedding in the wrong season, due to climate change. Climate change has impacted on its seasonal life cycle, it’s environment, habitat and food sources in the seas and on the reef.”

This work is a vinyl laser print applied directly to the wall.

Fri ‒ Mon: 09am ‒ 05pm