716 craft·design   ISSN:1835-1832
Issue 036 November 2008
716 craft·design news is published monthly by Craft Australia.

Above: Liz Williamson, Pale darn 1, 2003
Living Treasures: Textiles touring exhibition
Banner image: Hiroe Swen, Turbulent Episode II, 2008 (detail), From Darkness to Light exhibition

Australian craft and design practitioners rank with the worlds best. This issue of 716 craft·design looks at the practice of three practitioners.

In particular this issue highlights the highly successful series, Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft. Liz Williamson is the 2008 Living Treasure and her exhibition Liz Williamson: Textiles will be open from 8 November at Object Gallery in Sydney.

Clare Bond takes us into the intricacies and intimacies of Liz Williamson's practice, from her technical expertise in weave structure and the use of digital jacquard technology to the metaphoric explorations and sensual rhythms of the work.
»  Wrapped: Liz Williamson's practice   Clare Bond

"Hiroe Swen has long been regarded as one of Australia's foremost ceramic artist", writes Alan Watt in the catalogue essay for her current exhibition, From Darkness to Light. The exhibition comes after a period of 'deep sorrow and emotional turmoil' in Hiroe's life and the work reflects this deep, emotional connection with oneself. The exhibition will open at Narek Galleries in Tanja later this month.
»  From Darkness to Light   Alan Watt

Karin Findeis exhibition samples (A Taxonomy of Objects) exhibited at the Macleay Museum in Sydney was outstanding in it's concept, production and presentation. Findeis' work draws upon the Museum's collections and Margaret West responds to the exhibition, introducing us to this beautiful body of work.
»  A Poetics of Taxonomy   Margaret West

Karin Findeis, Stipes limbus (holotype), 2008

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Past issues 716 craft·design

From the General Manager

Catrina Vignando
November, 2008

Yes we can!
2008 in review

This year has been an important year of consolidation for Craft Australia. 2008 marks the fourth full year of the organisation's operation since relocating to Canberra. We have established solid foundations with new modes of program delivery and we have embraced the changes that have marked the growth of the Australian craft and design industry. With support from national stakeholders, Craft Australia has actively advocated on issues of relevance. This is an overview of the advocacy undertaken by Craft Australia for the growth and sustainability of the sector.

New government

With the Labor Government elected in late 2007, this year has been one of political change and realignment. To this end Craft Australia has focused on ensuring the issues of the craft and design sector are understood and supported by government. We continue to be active in the following areas.

2020 Summit

A visions paper presenting sector interests was developed and submitted for discussion at the 2020 Summit. More

Innovation Review

Craft Australia worked closely with the network of Australian Craft and Design Centres (ACDC), the Board of Directors and key stakeholders to develop a submission in response to the Review of the National Innovation System chaired by Dr Terry Cutler. More

Innovation and the Arts

Craft Australia, in collaboration with CHASS, was involved in developing the seminar on the Arts and the Innovation Agenda held in Sydney at the Wharf Street Theatre in March this year.

The General Manager gave a key paper at the seminar about where craft and design is placed in the innovation agenda. More

Design Roundtable

Craft Australia has been working closely with the Australia Council for the Arts in the area of innovation and design. The conversations have predominantly been to increase support for the hybrid nature of craft practice. Increasingly we see the influence of design and new technologies resulting in new modes of conception, manufacture and distribution of craft production. The outcome of this change has an impact on how craft and design is supported. To this end the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council will hold a sector round table discussion on design. The aim of the roundtable is to identify new trends and provide relevant support for industry. More


In 2007 the General Manger was elected to the board of the Council of the Humanities Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS). Craft Australia's involvement with CHASS has been highly beneficial for the sector and has brought the concerns of the industry to the attention of government. More

ACDC sector meetings

Craft Australia is the secretariat for the network of Australian Craft and Design Centres (ACDC).

ACDC meet biannually to discuss strategies that are significant to the promotion and presentation of Australian contemporary craft and design. The most recent meeting was in Canberra to meet with representatives from government departments as well as key sector stakeholders. More

Artists' rights

Throughout the year Craft Australia has been active in advocating for artists' rights in the areas of artists' fees, resale royalty, and sedition laws. More

Emeritus nominations

Craft Australia has been active in nominating artists and key figures in the craft and design field for national awards that recognise the contribution of the sector to the overall social and cultural fabric. Over the past 4 years Craft Australia has established a strong record for successful nominees.

International Craft Strategy

The need to present Australian contemporary craft and design to international markets has been an important strategy to ensure sustainability for the sector. Craft Australia, in conjunction with the ACDC network and key stakeholders, continue to pursue this strategy as an imperative for the livelihood of artists.

Living Treasures series

Launched in November 2005, the Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft series is an exciting program that highlights and the celebrates the achievements of Australia's iconic and influential crafts practitioners.

Each year a national touring exhibition and a major monograph is published for the program and this year the selected artist is Liz Williamson. The exhibition Liz Williamson: Textiles opens from the 8 November at Object Gallery in Sydney. More

Featured artists include:

Living Treasures
 » Les Blakebrough (2005)
 » Klaus Moje (2006)
 » Marian Hosking (2007)
 » Liz Williamson (2008)
 » Jeff Mincham (2009)
 » Robert Baines (2010)

Masters of Australian Craft
 » Pippin Drysdale
 » Beth Hatton
 » Brian Hirst
 » Milton Moon
 » Kevin Perkins
 » Catherine Truman
 » Margaret West

Selling Yarns 2 update
Selling Yarns 2
Innovation for sustainability

Conference program, workshops and seminar are now live on the website.
Registration will open mid-November.

Craft and Design Journal

The Craft Australia Craft and Design Research Centre has developed an online refereed journal. The e-journal will be published on the Craft Australia website and will promote the pursuit of academically rigorous craft and design research.

The inaugural call for papers is now open and the Craft Australia Craft and Design Research Centre is seeking contributions for 2009 on the theme Cross cultural exchanges in craft and design. Full details on the Craft Australia website homepage.

New Director VAB

The Australia Council for the Arts has announced the appointment of Kon Gouriotis OAM as its director of visual arts. Media release

CHASS appointment

Helen O'Neil has been appointed Executive Director of the Council for Humanities Arts and Social Sciences. Media release


The Australia Council for the Arts has consolidated its online resources for the arts sector into a centralised research hub of information. Research Hub

$4.7m boost

The Australia Council for the Arts will be an industry partner in three prestigious arts-related research projects funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC). Media release


Congratulations to Alex Kelly who has been chosen as one of 20 entrepreneurs worldwide to attend a development retreat in Washington DC as part of the Youth Action Net program.


Metalab in Sydney informs us that Debbie Pryor has been appointed their Gallery Director. Debbie previously worked as Exhibitions Manager at Object Gallery (Sydney) and Gallery Manager at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design (Adelaide).

Gwyn Hanssen Piggott

Creative Cowboy films have created an education resource pack containing a series of short films covering a range of ceramic processes. The pack also includes an interview with Gwyn Hanssen Piggot by Peter Hylands. More

Export Connections

To encourage growth and share information about international market opportunities, the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development in Victoria has launched the Export Connections website.

Canberra Glassworks

Canberra Glassworks has informed us there is an exciting position now being advertised at the Glassworks for Manager, Programs and Artist Services. Email the Director, Ann Jakle for details.