With the recent sad news of the closure at the end of this year of the jewellery department at M.I.T Auckland, it seems timely to emphasise the importance of supporting our local Australian and New Zealand artists and creative arts scene. Despite a 50 year strong history and a plethora of accomplished graduates, M.I.T. was deemed not profitable enough to continue. Similarly in Australia, in recent years the contemporary jewellery community has been devastated with galleries and education facilities closing down or drastically downsizing. This makes it more vital than ever before to support our local makers and indeed our local supply companies. As makers, it’s tempting to buy supplies overseas for a ‘cheaper’ price but we do pay an ultimate cost. The money spent stays overseas and our local suppliers eventually go out of business taking with them the expertise that can only be imparted through local interaction and conversation. The same can be said for us as art/craft consumers, and as gallerists. While overseas artists might appear to add a certain cache to a gallery, if we don’t make it a priority to support our local makers, either through sheer hard work and promotion, or by putting our dollar where it counts, the end result will be a huge loss of creativity on our local shores and the demise of our cultural originality.
Australian and New Zealand makers have a unique perspective and it is imperative that we foster this expression. Encouragingly, a new initiative has this aim at The Australian Design Centre under the helm of the formidable Lisa Cahill. ADC is at the forefront of re-establishing support and generating enthusiasm for contemporary crafts in NSW with the establishment of an annual Sydney Craft Week, the inaugural event being on 6-15 October, 2017. I encourage you to get out and about during this time to see what wonderful creativity exists in our gorgeous city. I’ve been invited to speak on a panel about Sydney’s craft culture on Wed 11th October. If you’d like to continue the conversation please join me at ADC.
I’m proud to say that Studio 20/17 Project Space is the only contemporary jewellery gallery in Sydney choosing to focus solely on representing and supporting Australian and New Zealand contemporary jewellery artists in both a retail and exhibition environment.
You DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE to this world. Remember, the choice you make for every dollar you spend or every task in which you invest time and energy is a vote for the type of world you want.
Choose to support your local artist over the alternatives and keep creativity alive in our region. – Bridget x.