PUNQ (Pop Up North Queensland) has announced critically acclaimed immersive arts program!

North Queensland’s place-based contemporary arts festival, PUNQ, returns in 2024 with a program of local, national and international artists to activate and engage with the region’s spaces, histories and futures.

Running from 1 – 18 August 2024, the biennial festival stretches a creative canvas of unique immersive journeys across Gurambilbarra / Townsville, Yunbenun / Magnetic Island, Warrgamay, Nywaigi & Bandjin Country / Hinchinbrook and Gudjal Country / Charters Towers.

This year’s program delivers dynamic works, live events and innovative performances that celebrate the region’s distinct landscapes, inspire cultural exchange, reimagine expectations, transform perceptions and provide unmissable experiences for all.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said PUNQ 2024 offers a unique opportunity to experience North Queensland’s stunning landscapes, vibrant cultures and compelling stories through contemporary arts.

“PUNQ 2024 will invite people to connect with this remarkable region through thought- provoking works that reflect and help define our state’s cultural identity.”

“The Queensland Government is proud to support PUNQ 2024, which helps deliver on our Creative Together strategy and its priorities to activate Queensland places and spaces, elevate First Nations arts, share our stories and celebrate our storytellers,” Minister Enoch said.

PUNQ’s program is dedicated to amplifying the Indigenous voices of North Queensland.

Manbarra Traditional Owner and community leader Vicki Saylor and multi-award- winning photographer and videographer Pippa Samaya join forces to illuminate First Nations stories through their powerful billboard exhibition, Waymaker.

The billboards, situated along regional highways, display portraits of Indigenous Elders and their stories to expand the nation’s narratives.

Gail Mabo, an internationally recognised Meriam artist from Mer / Murray Island in the Torres Strait and daughter of Eddie Koiki Mabo, unveils a brand-new public artwork that draws attention to the history of South Sea Islander indentured labour in North Queensland.



International interdisciplinary artist Anida Yoeu Ali (Cambodia/USA) returns to debut The Red Chador: Stranded, a Studio Revolt film shot on the shores, streets, sidewalks, parks, stadiums, concert halls and landmarks of Gurambilbarra / Townsville in 2021.

“We didn’t realise at the time how relevant this film would be,” Ali said.

“This work honours a geo-political moment in which Muslim bodies are literally being bombed to bits, particularly women and children, and it is part of a much bigger historical struggle in which occupation and militarism have devastated entire populations and lands.”

Elysha Rei, a Japanese Australian artist based in Meanjin / Brisbane, explores narratives of cultural identity through a site-specific paper-cutting installation called Kiri-edo.

The exhibition is staged within Yeddo, a Japanese house shipped to Wargamay Country/Ingham more than 136 years ago.

Yeddo is the oldest traditional and finest-known example of its Japanese style of architecture in Australia.

“It’s an honour to craft this installation at the Japanese house, drawing upon my own heritage and the long-standing history between Japan and Australia,” Rei said

“It will be one of my most poignant projects to date.”

PUNQ is proud to present the immersive sonic journey, Still, by Canadian composer Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Black Ox Orkestar) and Coiling, a newly commissioned performance work by Jennifer Ma and Baylee Griffith, composed by Isadoré and supported by leading contemporary dance company Dancenorth Australia.

PUNQ partners with Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) to commission Shapes of Listening, a contemporary video, sound and architectural installation by Naarm/Melbourne-based artists Sonja Leber and David Chesworth.

The work is created through Umbrella’s Creative Research Residency program, a partnership between James Cook University’s Special Collections at the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library and The Studio, onsite at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts.

Art Fair: A Constructed World is a vibrant, free and interactive space within a historical building in the centre of Gurambilbarra / Townsville and open to the public from 3-4 August.

PUNQ 2024 Festival
1 – 18 of August 2024
Various locations around North Queensland