CIAF 2014

Well known ghost net artist Nancy Nawwi (pictured in red) from Darnley Island very graciously devoted a lot of time to working on the fish. Photo by Greg Adams

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2014

This year, after a break in 2013 due to the reduced “clayton’s” art fair held that year, Ghost Net Art Project (GNAP) was again invited to conduct a ghost net workshop at Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2014 (CIAF 14). Under the GhostNets Australia banner we have done every art fair since the first in 2009, apart from the exception already mentioned, and have invariably attracted plenty of interest and had a great time to boot.

This year GNAP Art Director Sue Ryan, asked me, GNAP Events Coordinator, to come up with a project for CIAF 14. (She says that it’s an event any time that I do anything at all, which I think is a bit unkind).

If we were to undertake a project of any significance we would have to prepare an armature or frame before-hand. After considerable research seeking a suitably simple subject for my slight skill set, I decided that a ghost net blue swimmer crab would impress. Having blown up blue prints for the blue swimmer, I was ready to begin construction when Sue appeared and asked what I was doing. I answered that I had come up with the best idea since the 2011 ghost net crocodile – a blue swimmer crab! She rolled her eyes and said that only I could come up with an idea that combined such an incredibly high degree of difficulty with such a humdrum, stultifyingly boring outcome. She then announced that we would be making a Flying Gurnard. I told her that I had been ‘trying gurnard’ but she didn’t respond. I then complained that I had put in a lot of time on the crab - so we agreed to compromise and make a Flying Gurnard. For the few of you who don’t know, flying gurnards are a family of fish that sport outlandishly large pectoral fins which they unfurl as they skim along the bottom of the ocean.

Joined by three Torres Strait artists, Angela “Mahnah” Torenbeek from Moa Island and Georgia Curry and her daughter Kelly Beckley from Hammond Island, we had a very busy three days at the end of July. With considerable perspiration and a great deal of assistance, we were able to more-or-less complete the Flying Gurnard, which, while attractive, was obviously of the small-finned variety. I wasn’t crabby at all.

Story and Pictures by Greg Adams

gn148_large.jpgPics by Greg Adams.