The Australasian Craft Network has been established as a bridge down-under with the World Craft Council.
The World Craft Council is the umbrella organisation of five regional associations (Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America), within which are various sub-regions. Historically, Australia and New Zealand have been in the South Pacific sub-region of the Asia Pacific region. The WCC General Assembly meets every four years. Regional groups meet annually.
The WCC has two main goals:
- To disseminate knowledge, to help craftspersons and revive languishing crafts in these regions and to provide a network and fellowship among craftspersons of the various nations, and to ensure that they are in communication with each other.
- To bring crafts and craftspersons into the mainstream of life, connecting with the past through maintaining inherited traditions and looking into the future through the use of modern technology to experiment, innovate and reach out to new markets.
In 2008, the Pacific Craft Network was established as a means of disseminating information from the World Craft Council to the island communities, as well as providing a platform for development of projects particularly in association with the Pacific arts festivals.
To complement that, the Australasian Craft Network provides those non-islanders of the South Pacific with a similar conduit to the World Craft Council and also a means of organising activities to the broader benefit of craft culture.
In particular, there is interest in a future conference to consider the relevance of craft today in our region. Initial questions include:
- Should craft, as a form of tactile literacy, be an essential part of education?
- How does craft contribute to a healthier society?
- Could the Global Financial Crisis lay the ground for a craft renaissance?
- How does craft related to emerging practices such as ethical design?
- How is a professional craft practice viable when there are no more collectors?
- What are positive models for the relationship between craft and design?
Are there questions that you would add to this list? Please feel free to reply with your suggestions.
Members of the Australasian Craft Network will:
- Receive emails of World Craft Council activities, including upcoming workshops and forums
- Contribute to shaping events in the Australasian region that connect with the international craft world
Dr Kevin Murray, vice-president, World Craft Council Asia Pacific Region
Lindy Joubert, Australian national entity, UNESCO Observatory