Dawn of a new era.
The Tribal Art Fair Sydney-2018 was held on Saturday 21 July at a fabulous new venue: the heritage National Art School “Cell Block” building in Darlinghurst. A great success. This could be the start of an ever-expanding oceanic art fair in the antipodes.
The new banner designed by Warwick Majcher was displayed on Oxford Street, courtesy Bill Evans. It looked fantastic from afar, stopping people in their tracks. There was some gate-crashing before the opening, followed by a steady stream of early-bird oceanic art buyers.Vendors had the opportunity to unload their treasures on Friday afternoon with the friendly and efficient assistance of NAS staff.
There was a variety of exhibits ranging from top-end Oceanic artefacts – with dealers clamouring for early entry to get them – to interesting handicrafts, jewellery, textiles, paintings and books from Oceanic, African, Asian and American countries.
Collectors and dealers who had stands this year included Chris Boylan, Geoff Carey, David Said, Erwin Kok, Gabriella Roy, Helen Dennett, Jim Anderson, Arthur Whall, Selwyn Glenister, Paul Bertram, Louis McWhinnie and Moonyeen Atkinson. Brennan King shared the stage area with a beautiful display of contemporary Ömie bark-cloths – century old traditions are being preserved by a Papua New Guinean tribe through art. Brennan had made an overnight decision to participate in TAFS having seen the advertising on the Tribal Art Magazine FB. A decision he did not regret. Artist Catherine Giles was selling her pacific-themed paintings for the third consecutive year.
The ‘Silent Auction’ pieces looked spectacular on stage and six happily found treasured homes. Each stall-holder offers an artefact with a reserve, from sales of which the OAS receives a percentage. Overall the auction may have been partially eclipsed by the wondrous stall offerings lower down. This sparked talk within the TAFS committee in considering the viable option of having the competitive TAFS Silent Auction to be the inaugural basis of a TAFS cocktail fundraising event the day before, to officially open the Fair. This provides a space for bringing some narrative to the TAFS, whilst allowing out of town tribal art enthusiasts to socialise.
Congratulations to the very hard-working TAFS subcommittee which is eager to have your feedback in order to expand next year’s fair. Lots of ideas bubbling already. So please contribute to the thinktank by writing to [email protected] And enjoy the photo
album made by Jerry Liew on OAS Facebook.
Given that visitors to TAFS 2018 numbered more than 200 in a fantastic new venue, the OAS feels comfortable that next year’s event will see interest from other major interstate and international vendors.