After nearly eight years at Craft Victoria, I am now experiencing the incredible lightness of being without a small arts organisation. It’s been a very moving week, with an astounding Fresh exhibition, a flood of kind messages and a very warm gathering on Saturday to reflect back on what’s been happening in craft so far this century.
With the newly-won benefit of hindsight, it seemed that running an organisation like Craft Victoria was a matter of balancing between the professional development and wider engagement with culture. The concept of home seemed the simplest metaphor. It’s important to separate ourselves off from the world to find comfort and security. But this separation can become a fortress if we don’t open the door occasionally to the outside world.
Since 2000, we’ve had a number of high quality exhibitions that demonstrated the modernist endeavours of individual makers. But complementing that were initiatives like the Scarf Festival and South Project made contact with new audiences here and overseas. We’ve provided all the benefits of a club, but tried to ensure that the membership is diverse as possible.
Keeping modernism and humanism in play is a tricky balancing act. And after eight years, it gets increasingly hard to keep the balls in the air. Our managerial culture is always going to make it difficult for humanist energies.
So I’m going to take a little rest and go back to own craft, writing. Time to find a new home.