This year was my first year visiting DAAF and well, it left me a bit speechless. With 75 Art Centres selling their wares, talks, classes, demonstrations, workshops and more, the weekend is crammed so full of good stories and beautiful objects I barely know where to start!
The best thing about the weekend was probably that we were able to finally meet Lyn, Martha and Eunice from Nagula Jarndu and Melanie from Hopevale Arts, 2 art centres where we knew everyone by name but not face. It was also great to finally meet the legendary Bobbie Ruben in person after about 100 hours on the phone talking colour ways and repeats.
With 75 stalls at the fair the variety of works for sale was mind blowing! Seeing as how both Mark and I had filled out suitcases with fabric to take to the fair, we had some space to bring things back. And fill that space we did. My favourite of the fair would have to be without a doubt the Tjanpi Desert Weavers. I bought several baskets and a little red rabbit (and their book). I also filled the bags with pieces from Injalak Arts, Gapuwiyak Arts, The Tiwi Islands and Bima Wear.
It was fantastic to see hand printed textiles at so many stalls and to see so many of them with empty tables by the end of the weekend! I expect our tables to be full of indigenous designs again soon as everybody puts in their restock orders!
We also had the pleasure of hanging out at the amazing new Provence Arts. Flick and her illustrious team have put together a truly beautiful space! Full of fine art, textiles, clothes, souvenirs and more. Most definitely worth a visit! It was the perfect place to spend Monday afternoon, we even got to watch Flick bust out some fabric stretching skills (While Frances was her ever mature self...)
We did manage to squeeze in a bit tourist time and hired a scooter for an afternoon. We cruised around mangroves, military bases and tourist traps and spent some time collecting shells and coral off the beach. We visited the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, marvelled at the works in this year’s Telstra Art awards and looked on in awe at photos of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Tracey all those years ago.
It was an amazing week and while I haven’t fully caught the bug and want to live up there permanently, I definitely can’t wait to go back.