Monday, October 10, 2011

Craft Victoria: Musing on a sustainable practice

The Immaculate Perception Project, surviving as a maker

Over the past year William Wilding (Wilding Wallpapers) and Joe Pascoe (Craft Victoria) have been working together to deliver this first iteration of the Immaculate Perception project. Founded by William Wilding as a design project, its central aim is matching design talent with material outcomes, in this instance wallpaper.

Image: Penelope Gale, Pods

Say wallpaper and most people will go blank, but this project has the opposite effect. Working with selected Craft Victoria members, William developed production ready designs for the Australian market. These designs are contemporary and mature. They work themes derived from our natural and personal environments, such as mudcrabs and magical castles. In a sense they are unique yet universal, which is a special challenge of the wallpaper market. There are nine designs, which can come in different colour ranges.

 Image: Caitlin Ziegler, East of the Sun

For Craft Victoria the project is positioned within its ‘New Craft Made in Victoria’ program, which has been active for almost three years. New Craft links makers with commissions and creates craft works for sale in the wholesale marketplace. Where this new project differs is that it represents an industry connection that has the capacity to enter a major market space. As a model it is an exciting extension of Grace Cochrane’s ‘Smartworks’ concept, which recognised the inherent economic and cultural value chains that underpin much contemporary (and historical) craft. Imagine the possibilities; from wallpaper one could go onto other areas (rugs have already been done, famously by Ernabella) and with some creative yet hard-nosed thinking, the opportunities will undoubtedly grow.

 Image: Maryann Talia Pau, Mudcrabs 
Most importantly, for the makers involved it is a rare opportunity to commercialise their work in an Australian context and to have a sustainable craft practice. It also gets away from the implied assumption that for craft to become viable it needs to somehow morph into design. Here the real craft skills are maintained and enhanced as the basic medium (paper) remains constant. Joe Pascoe CEO and Artist Director Craft Victoria

 The Immaculate Perception Project  website
 Wilding Wallpaper website
 Sustainability stories link 
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