First Nations artists on adapting traditions for a contemporary world

Five First Nations artists from Queensland discuss what it means to work on Country and how their practices strengthen Cultural connections.

The oldest living culture on Earth has more than a word of wisdom or two to offer concerning adaptation.

Producer, cultural leader and Bundjalung woman Rhoda Roberts AO opened the panel Contemporary Traditions at Cairns Indigenous Art Fair’s (CIAF) 2022 symposium by saying: ’There is shift in Australians who are now seeing how we are connected to [Country and tradition] … We are masters of Country, and most importantly in the 21st century, we are masters of our own destiny.’

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Instagram: @lleizy_