Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A new chapter for Australian Craft and design







Craft Australia is issuing this press release to notify all of our readers and followers that the organisation will be closing from 30 April 2012.

Craft Australia was notified in October 2011 that it would no longer receive funding from the Australia Council for the Arts. With no alternative means of significant support to continue to deliver national advocacy services for the craft and design sector, the Craft Australia Board of Directors agreed to wind up the organisation.

Additional assistance for this purpose was received from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. The Board and staff at Craft Australia has spent the past 12 weeks ensuring that the organisation is wound up responsibly and that as far as is practical, all assets, historical archives and programs be passed on to new host organisations to be managed.  

Since it was established in 1971, Craft Australia has played a critical role in the development of craft and design in Australia. It staged exhibitions, many of them touring interstate and overseas. The magazine covered developments in Australia as well as from around the world of craft and design, particularly the Asia Pacific region. And it hosted a myriad of workshops and conferences that created a strong sense of community around the pursuit of beauty in crafted objects. While we mourn this loss, we are pleased to say that as we prepare to close the Craft Australia chapter of the Australian craft and design book, we have started a new chapter with Australia’s national collecting organisations and the network of Australian Craft and Design Centres, ACDC.

Craft Australia website
The Craft Australia website, in its entirety, has been archived through Pandora, a web archiving program at the National Library of Australia. This ensures that all the articles and referenced information on the site continues to be accessed and is able to be referenced.

craft + design enquiry journal
The future of the C+DE Journal has been secured with new hosts at the Australian National University School of Art. Transition support to migrate the journal with minimal disruption was made available from the Visual Arts Board. Craft Australia developed the craft + design enquiry journal in 2009 to promote the research capabilities in the craft and design sector. Three volumes of the journal have already been published. Read more.  

The digitised image collection
The National Library of Australia has also been critical in assisting Craft Australia to digitise the national historical collection of slides. Over 4,000 images from this collection, made up mostly from the education slide kits developed by Craft Australia in the 80s and 90s are now accessible online through ehive, an online collection management portal. This is a tremendous resource for the sector that is free to access and will now be managed by the National Gallery of Australia who has included this digital material in their Research Library.

The Historical Collection
We are delighted to have had the support of the National Gallery of Australia, (NGA) to secure the Craft Australia historical collection. The forty-one year archive of the organisation, the Craft Australia Library of monographs, journals and ephemera have all been accepted into the NGA’s Research Library.  In addition, all of the undigitised slides held by Craft Australia and most of the collection will also be housed at the NGA. This initiative from the NGA, Australia’s flagship cultural organisation, is an invaluable support for the future of the craft and design sector. Additional works from the Craft Australia Collection will also be going to the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The Next Step
The Board of Directors will meet in Canberra on 15 May to hold a Special General Meeting to complete the winding up of Craft Australia. Communication with Craft Australia over this period will be limited. Email contact is the best way to ensure your enquiries are answered.

Other resources
The ACDC network, will continue to provide national craft and design support for the craft and design sector. The network will have a rotating secretariat that will initially be managed by Craft ACT Craft and Design Centre.

On behalf of the Board and staff of Craft Australia I thank you for your support, your letters and your comments in the petition.  It is with a heavy heart that we close this chapter of the Australian craft and design story. However, we feel confident the future directions for Australian craft and design will provide equally engaging and evocative chapters. 


Catrina Vignando
General Manager
April 2012

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