Crafts and trade meet in a gallery

Here’s an antidote to the skills shortage (see Symmetry for an allied exploration of the dialogue between craft and work)

Trades: Creative engagements between artists and tradespeople

  • Opening 6pm Friday 24 October 2008
  • JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design
  • Opening Speaker: Janet Giles, Secretary SA Unions
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Craftsouth’s latest project, Trades, links craft, design and visual arts practitioners with various trades.

Eight artists have undertaken working partnerships with eight tradespeople through which new works have been developed.

Initiated in response to an artist’s desire to experience a genuine exchange of skills with a tradesperson, rather than to subcontract the production of an object, Trades features partnerships as diverse as: David Archer (sculptor) with Rod Archer (plumber); Gabriella Bisetto (glass artist) with Monty Clements (scientific lamp worker); Annabelle Collett (textile artist) with Jethro Adams (electrician); Deb Jones (glass artist) with Hugh Gooden (panel beater); Irianna Kanellopoulou (ceramicist) with Kirsten Tibballs (pastry chef); Maria Parmenter (ceramicist) with Andrew Willsmore (arborist); Adrian Potter (furniture designer-maker) with Amy Duncan (tattooist); Annalise Rees (installation artist) with Jonathan Bowles (carpenter).

The symbolic importance of craft cannot be underestimated, as it is at the core of all working practices.  And it is this relationship between craft and other work practices that Trades aims to explore by offering artists the opportunity to experience specific skills and industry knowledge that may not normally be available to them in their day to day work practices.

The flexibility of this project model has resulted in a variety of partnerships and working arrangements. Stepping outside their comfort zones, both the artists and the tradespeople have had to be broadminded about their open-ended engagements, and have realised that it doesn’t always help to pre-empt the exact nature of the final work. However, whether the works featured in this exhibition were produced through collaboration or not, they reveal a genuine engagement reinforced by mutual interest and respect.

By presenting the Trades partnership outcomes to South Australian audiences in partnership with JamFactory, Craftsouth hopes to raise public awareness of the significant role that craft plays in all working cultures.

This project has been developed and produced by Craftsouth with assistance by Arts SA, Health Promotion Through the Arts, and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy (VACS), an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.

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