Reef Productions

Migrants, Makers and Merchandise

This exhibition, that ran from May to August, 2021 in the Cairns Museum Temporary Exhibitions gallery, showcased the colourful, creative and original hand printed merchandise of Reef Productions. This small Cairns souvenir company created a unique brand based on Cairns’ environment, communities and the region’s Indigenous cultures.

In the mid-1970s Cairns was on the cusp of change. From a small agricultural town with a bustling port, it was evolving into a major holiday destination, with reef and rainforest promotions luring visitors to the tropics. As tourism grew so too did the demand for locally made souvenirs. 

It was in this climate that Reef Productions began. The exhibition features the stories of the migrants who grew a national business from Cairns’ northern beaches and explores the personal stories of the artists whose beautiful, original works were the foundation for this unique Cairns brand.

It showcases a large collection of napery and prints donated to the Society by former Reef Productions owners Andy and Joan Csorba.

Fly through the Reef Productions Temporary Gallery:

Behind the Scenes

Our collections volunteers worked incredibly hard to catalogue and accession the donation, as well as prepare selected items for exhibition Our fabulous sewers Jenny and Lynette carefully prepared the tea towels for display mounting and we were lucky to have Melanie Sorenson from Sorenson Art Conservation run two workshops on hinge mounting paper works for display.