Design Canberra Festival Design Canberra Festival

May Kaythari Than Kyaw, Trayble
May Kaythari Than Kyaw, Trayble

Emerging Talent on show at Craft ACT

Emerging Contemporaries is Craft ACT’s annual showcase of outstanding graduates and emerging craft practitioners from the ACT and surrounding region.

Craft ACT is committed to supporting their members through all stages of their practice, and these makers have been awarded a free membership to kick-start their creative trajectory. Graduates have been selected from the Australian National University School of Art and Design, University of Canberra, Canberra Institute of Technology, Canberra Potters Society, Sturt Craft Centre, and the Indigenous Jewellery Project, representing the breadth of contemporary craft and design practice with furniture, jewellery, textiles, ceramics, glass, and mixed media.

Emerging Contemporaries aims to showcase innovative approaches to craft and design. Examples include: Trayble, a playful, interactive table by ANU Furniture Workshop graduate May Kaythari Than Kyaw, which transforms into a tray thanks to its movable geometric elements. ANU Textiles graduate Clare C. Evans connects weaving with information processing and architecture. Boya Yu, from ANU Gold and Silversmithing, explores what she calls the ‘third space’, a place between Chinese and Western cultures, with her intriguing jewellery. Marie Alexis, from CIT, has mocked up a game that explores gambling addiction via the hooks of online games for children. Alya Khan, selected from the Canberra Potters Society annual exhibition, integrates the primal nature of clay with the sophistication of contemporary construction.

The Emerging Contemporary artists are joined by the participants of Craft ACT’s exciting 2018 Indigenous Jewellery Project (IJP), a program of workshops fostering contemporary indigenous jewellery production, partnered by Craft ACT’s esteemed Accredited Professional Member (APM), Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello (Kemarre Arts), curator and writer Emily McCulloch Childs, and the ANU School of Art and Design Gold and Silversmithing Workshop.

This program was made possible by generous public donations to our online fundraising campaign, with matched funding from Creative Partnerships Australia. It has been a huge success: the results of the workshops are exciting and range from rings drawing on traditional ochre shapes, totemic animal designs drawn from the artist’s country, spear and object designs, and for the first time for IJP, a range of utensils, made with Craft ACT APM Alison Jackson. These include traditional pitis (coolamons) and oyster trays, and delicate representations of native gum leaves. “This workshop has given me more ways to show connection to my Aboriginal identity and culture,” said one of the IJP participants.

DATES: Thursday 31 January – Saturday 16 March 2019
WHERE: Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, Level 1 North Building, London Circuit
LAUNCH EVENT: Thursday 31 January, 6pm with opening remarks by Dr Kirsten Wehner, Director, PhotoAccess. All welcome.
FLOOR TALK: Thursday 31 January 2019 at 5:30pm with a selection of the emerging contemporaries