10 December 2009
In this last issue of 716 for 2009 we review the year at Craft Australia counting down our top 5 undertakings for 2009. First off we started the year with a major national conference Selling Yarns 2: Innovation for Sustainability, launched our freshly designed Craft Australia web site, conducted a reader survey of 716 craft.design online news and are currently in the process of redesigning the publication, engineered a national online forum right way, established and launched a brand new international peer reviewed journal craft + design enquiry.
Selling Yarns 2 actively supported and drew attention to the vibrancy of contemporary Indigenous craft and design practice. It provided an opportunity for artists, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, from all over Australia to come together and network, share ideas and skills and form lasting relationships. That may lead to further collaborations, joint projects and increased knowledge. Thereby facilitating an opportunity for Indigenous artists working in isolation and in regional areas to network with their colleagues, share information, engage in critical debate and discuss new possibilities for Indigenous textile promotion.
The conference program addressed current issues that are impacting on contemporary Indigenous practice such as the effect of new technologies on presenting work to developing audiences, the interaction with industry to manufacture work and collaborating with designers to facilitate market engagement for new products. It also promoted and facilitated cross cultural engagement and interaction with international artists from New Zealand, Thailand and Laos. Accompanying publications to the conference included a DVD and stand alone web site. Over 2,000 people attended the conference and weekend events at the National Museum of Australia.Visit Selling Yarns 2
Visitors to our newly designed site came from all over the world. The top 5 countries interested in Australian craft and design were the US, UK, Germany, Canada and China. The web site redesign worked to create easier navigation through the site, the addition of the opportunities listing to the web site and the ability to self post calendar events. Many national visitors to the site have been utilising the calendar to post exhibitions, conferences and symposiums to the calendar. The calendar is a powerful tool to publicise individual events and collectively to enhance the visibility of the sector. Our online library area has grown considerably over the year with over 30 new articles published including conference papers from Selling Yarns 2 and the Australian Ceramics Triennale. If you missed reading an article in the newsletter this year you will be able to find it in the library. Further to these web developments we have set up a bevy of social networking tools in order to expand our dialogue with the sector and explore new audiences via establishing Facebook, Flickr and Twitter profiles.
Following on from the redesign of our website we have conducted a
reader survey of 716 craft.design online news and in response to reader input we will present an updated publication in mid-February 2010. Some interesting statistics follow from the survey in which 32% of our readership participated.
75% of readers surveyed are practitioners, 26% are educators 82 % are female, 30% of readers are aged 50-60, 25% 40-50 and 22% 30-40, 32% live in NSW, 23% in Vic and 9% Qld, 9% live overseas and 7 % in ACT and 7% in SA, 81% read 716 once per month.
The biggest topics of interest are Craft and Design, Craft, Craft and Fashion, Marketing, Craft and Technology.
right way is based around key issues faced by the Indigenous craft and design sector such as ethical practices, education and authenticity. As project coordinator for rightway Merryn Gates has said "right way is where the voices of Indigenous craftspeople and designers are given a place to be heard, and where the discussions can be held from one end of the country to the other, from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Freycinet Peninsula." The project has been so successful that we will continue to host this hub for Indigenous craft and design into 2010 creating community , discussion and audience around a number of exciting projects currently in development . The vote we have conducted on the issue of an Indigenous authentication label has so far been unanimously yes and is still open on right way. We want to know what you think on this issue have your say at right way
In recognition of the outstanding research taking place in the craft and design sector we developed and launched the craft + design enquiry journal. The first issue Migratory Practices came from papers presented at the conference, Migratory Practices: exchanges between anthropology, art, craft and design, organised by Manchester Metropolitan University; from this conference we presented six papers examining making, ethnography and fieldwork and the ethics of anthropological and artistic production. craft + design enquiry will be published annually and currently we are already underway with reviewing papers for issue # 2 investigating the area of cross-cultural exchanges in craft and design to be published in mid 2010. The call for papers for Issue # 3 The Carbon issue - Sustainability in craft and design, guest editor, Dr. Kevin Murray is currently open and we invite you to submit your paper by June 2010. See the announcements section of c+ de for further details.
Wrapping up another successful year of advocacy and promotion for the Australian contemporary craft and design sector, I take you through some of the activities that have shaped Craft Australia's year in 2009.
Lobbying for sustainability and growth in the craft and design sector is a paramount function for Craft Australia. This year we have been focusing on a range of critical issues such as increased support for makers and their practice, recognition for Australian Indigenous craft and design, inclusion of craft and design within the innovation agenda and developing the Australian Design Council. In addition Craft Australia has delivered some innovative and ground braking programs that are featured in this month's 716 craft.design news. A highlight of the year has been the international conference on Indigenous contemporary craft and design, Selling Yarns 2: Innovation for sustainability. Two years in development with key national partners, this four day conference was acclaimed by all who participated and has led the way for new advocacy and lobbying directions for Craft Australia.
Support for Makers
In supporting artists, Craft Australia has been active on several national lobbying campaigns that have now seen positive results. These include the establishment of the resale royalty legislation to support a percentage of the resale value of the work be paid to the artist; the increase of artists' fees for art workers and the inclusion of arts education in the national curriculum. We commend the government for supporting these changes. Other areas of ongoing lobbying for Craft Australia include the visual arts and craft strategy (VACS). Daunted by the prospects that the current VACS will conclude at the end of 2011, the visual arts sector is preparing for a review of VACS in order to lobby for its reinstatement with increased funding. This has been a focus area for 2009 and will continue to be a primary area for Craft Australia lobbying in the new year.
Lobbying for the inclusion of craft and design within the innovation agenda is a strategic positioning of the sector. In doing so there is potential to access new support for craft and design that has previously not been possible. This includes greater support for R&D in design, growing links between makers and industry and makers and manufacturers and support for identifying and developing new international markets for craft and design goods and services. Following from Craft Australia's submission to the national innovation review in 2008, this lobby focus has been a significant area of activity for the organisation. Below are some of the highlights to this end.