EVENTS & PROJECTS
BIG TALK ONE FIRE
FIRST NATIONS FESTIVAL 2023
UMI Arts’ 16th annual Indigenous cultural festival of music, dance, culture and arts.
JAHZ, Djun Djun Jarra, Cold Water Band, Broden Tyrell, Dizzy Doolan, Mau Power
Images courtesy Lovegreen Photography
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Big Talk One Fire 2023 was made possible by supprt from our valued Event Sponsors:
Kowanyama Messamate Humpy Project
As part of the larger Kowanyama Project, transport of a selection of museum objects were brought to Cairns from the Kowanyama Collection to complement the Algngga installation with other Olkola cultural objects. A selection of traditional woven baskets made by Olkola (Egng ojow Yam Clan) master weaver Doreen Yam were exhibited as a feature of the installation. Viv Sinnamon (Curator Kowanyama Collection) was assisted by UMI Arts curators in the installation of the shelter model and cultural objects. Stories were developed by Tom Hearn of Bush TV with members of three clans of the Olkola community at Kowanyama. Singing of the sugarbag song was performed by Hazel Barr, Olkola: Egng ojow Sugarbag Clan Elder. Olkola men, Simpson Yam, Craig Goggleye and Stafford Yam who participated in the Algngga Project attended the opening of the installation attended by the Federal Member for Leichardt, Warren Ensch and the Deputy Mayor of Cairns City Council.
UMI Arts Big Talk One Fire Symposium 2022
This event was made possible by funding from Arts Queensland. Footage courtesy Maxwell Media.
Welcoming the new UMI Arts Board:
Smoking and Welcome Ceremony
‘A Taste of Culture’
@ the Cairns Court House
BIG TALK ONE FIRE FESTIVAL 2022
UMI Arts’ 15th annual Indigenous cultural festival of music, dance, culture and arts.
“The Artist: Kel Williams”
Filmed and directed by Gregg Maxwell and produced by UMI Arts, with support from Cairns Regional Council, this short film celebrates one of Far North Queensland’s artist Elders, Kel Williams.
“People need to know about people like Kel, who as an Elder statesman and long-time member of UMI Arts, has made an immense contribution to our regional community through his talent and artwork that authentically speaks to culture and Country. We are excited to share this film, which is destined to be a lasting legacy about one man’s experience and the close ties that bind culture and Country to community.”
Peter Lenoy, Executive Officer, UMI Arts
With Ugar (Stephen Island) Guuguyimidhirr (Cape York) heritage, Kel was born and raised in Cairns but now lives in Bellenden Kerr where he practises his visual art specialising in wood carving. While Kel admits that he is also a brush artist, he says that is more about work for the tourist market while he is better known for his beautiful, collectible Aboriginal figures and carvings of Australian native animals. From the age of 10, long before turning his artistic talent into a full-time career, Kel was learning the traditions of wood carving under the tutelage of his grandfather. After completing his trade certificate in boat building during the 70s he applied his skills to commercial industry. Turning his hand to art, he later, in the early noughties, undertook and completed a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training in 2004, which qualified him to share his craft, teaching wood carving to emerging artists across many remote Aboriginal and Island communities all around Cape York. Not surprisingly, Kel has also established himself as an expert in creating wooden boat models that reference the old pearl luggers that were used in the Torres Strait. Along with his boats and native animals, there is a range of fine jewellery and a new exploration into print making – producing contemporary linocut prints thanks to the support of UMI Arts’ workshops and studio.
‘The Artist: Kel Williams’ is available for purchase at the UMI Arst Gallery and Gift Shop.