Craft renaissance

Many stories in Garland tell of objects that translate traditional forms into a contemporary mode.



Azadeh Yasaman ✿ A disorderly beauty - Our February laurel goes to Iranian weaver and fashion designer, Azadeh Yasaman, who seeks to give new life to the ancient beauty of her culture.
iThongo: Messages from the ancestors - Andile Dyalvane's new work inscribes Xhosa objects into ceramic seating that supports a gathering of his OoJola clan.
Pillan: The spirit of the volcano - The Mapuche silversmith Celeste Painepan Nicul tells how she acquired her cosmovision.
Pilwas: Knotting Lafkenche narratives in Puerto Saavedra - Magdalena Cattan-Lavin travels south to learn about the Mapuche string bag and how its popularity has been revived.
Māreikura: Exploring the goddess in Māori women - Neke Moa, adornment and object artist, describes how she explored the role and importance of wāhine (women) in the spiritual and physical world for her latest solo exhibition.
Mapuche hybrid identify furnished from the periphery - Rodrigo Castro Hueche follows his family’s furniture work to craft objects that reflect a hybrid Mapuche identity.
Heirs of Llalliñ: Mapuche women weavers find the end of the rainbow - Artesanías de Chile invited Mapuche weavers to the Museum of Natural History, where they studied ancient textiles that they would re-create back home.
Te Hosek’en Harw: The Edge of the World - In consultation with the Selkn’am community, Sol Contardo created ceramic works inspired by their mysterious culture, located in Tierra del Fuego.
The Afro-Peruvian cajón: Reclaiming a humble percussion crate as one’s own - Aromica Bhattacharya tracks a percussion crate from its invention by African slaves to its eventual acknowledgment as intrinsic to Peruvian cultural heritage.
Charazani Project: Inca weaving revived - Constanza Urrutia Wegmann draws on a traditional Inca textile pattern to create a mesmerising weaving.
Kamaquen: Ceramics powered by Andean energy - For Keka Ruiz-Tagle, ceramics channels the spirits of her Inca ancestors.
James Tylor ✿ Kaurna tool kit - Our November Laurel goes to James Tylor for his re-creation of the Kaurna tool kit, reflecting the revival of cultural skills across the wider world.
In lockdown, a Bulgarian recreates the past - At last, Bulgaria! Ani Georgieva Yoveva makes use of lockdown to revive an eighteenth-century folk costume.
[Re:]Entanglements in Nigeria - Nigerian artists Jennifer Ogochukwu Okpoko and Dr RitaDoris Edumchieke Ubah are inspired by colonial photographs to make new textile work drawing on the heritage of uli body and wall painting.
Isifociya: The revival of Zulu adornment that protects and beautifies - Khanya Mthethwa transforms the traditional Zulu girdle into a fashion item for proud South Africans
Wissa-Sophy: Back to the woven garden - Passent Nossair returns to the refreshing gardens of El Harraneya in Giza, Egypt, where she learns the remarkable story of Wissa Wassef, whose belief in the inner creativity of children helped build a weaving workshop of international renown.
Taipei Biennial 2020 ✿ Aruwai Kaumakan - Paiwanese artist Aruwai Kaumakan is reviving the snake motif in her textiles for the upcoming Taipei Biennial.
The rise of “craftship”: The Organization of Craft Work: Identities, Meanings, and Materiality - A new anthology follows up Richard Sennett's The Craftsman by tracking the revival of craft values in contemporary work.
Finding Mahtab and starting a new life - Khosro Mahinroosto tells how finding the legendary Baluchistan needle-worker changed his life and led to the establishment of Gileboom eco-lodge.
Tania Larsson ✿ Hide uncovers the hidden - matt lambert interviews a Canadian jewellery artist about the process of making hide in Gwich’in culture
Kamunez ✿ How the kiekie girdles Moana - Mele Tonga Tamanilo celebrates the traditional Tongan waist adornment known as kiekie by inventing new designs and introducing new eye-catching materials.
Nikau Hindin ✿ A star compass that makes history - Ngāpuhi and Te Rarawa artist Nikau Hindin created an installation Kāpehu Whetū, Star Compass at Auckland's Maritime Museum. This work uniquely draws on traditions of navigation across Moana with unfinished business from first encounters with European colonists.
Kyoko Hashimoto ✿ the Musubi necklace - Kyoko Hashimoto's Musubi necklace is a striking example of how a Japanese craft technique can help us appreciate the local quality of another country, in this case the sandstone that defines the Sydney basin.
Liziqi ✿ China’s craft princess - "Nowadays time goes by so quickly that we yearn for Li Ziqi’s lifestyle." The story of Liziqi tells us much about the wave of interest in China's traditional culture today.
Weaving Pang Jai: In search of old Hong Kong - Eloise Rapp goes in search of a textile that embodies the ramshackle identity of old Hong Kong.
Lessons learned from a duck herder’s gamelan 🎵 - Rosie Cook goes in search of the rare Bundengan musical instrument from Indonesia and discovers a melodious revival.
Luo Wanxing ✿ A life’s hard labour for sweet reward - Our China correspondent, Xue XIA, offers a recent homage to the end of a once-thriving trade in China - brown sugar making.
Mikio Toki ✿ Edo kites keep hope afloat - Our pursuit of beautiful and thoughtful objects can take us far beyond the gallery. From kite-maker Mikio Toki, we learn that art taken to the skies can be a powerful way of giving thanks.
Kinder, Küche, Kirche ✿ New mementos of the Barossa - 11 South Australian artists make works that honour the heritage crafts of the Lutheran German community from the Barossa.
China’s craft revival: The cultural shift - Drawing on her recent research, Yin Huang reflects on the increased cultural focus on crafts in China and the opportunities it opens for foreign organisations.
The re-awakening of lacquer in China today 🇨🇳 - Liu Huan reflects personally on the enduring value of lacquer in Chinese culture and project to revive its spirit for modern consumers.
Dragon reborn: The making of Bendigo’s Dai Gum Loong - Leigh McKinnon writes about the revival of skills from Hong Kong involved in the new Bendigo dragon
Why a Japanese lacquer master sought a surfing legend - Lacquer is a gift of the ancients that is largely forgotten today. Sachiko Matsuyama is convinced of its value not just for its redolent surface but also as a bond between people and nature. She finds an inspiring future for lacquer in the work of Takuya Tsutsumi, in partnership with an Australian surfboard maker.
Elisa-Jane Carmichael ✿ Weaving with ancestors - Sally Butler writes about Quandamooka artist Elisa-Jane Carmichael, who interprets her fibre tradition in stunning new forms
Collective support for architectural heritage: The workcamp movement in Liang village - Liwen Zhu tells of summers spent in a built heritage preservation workcamp with volunteers from China and France.
Tom Nicholson ✿ On repatriating an ancient mosaic - Tom Nicholson repatriates a Roman mosaic taken from Palestine in World World One
Craft revival in China: How to make an old year new again - Anying Chen outlines a project to revive New Year prints, which are posted in Chinese homes to help begin the year on a positive note.
Fresco comes to the mountain - Sarah Tomasetti has transplanted the Italian technique of fresco to create works that honour the mountains that help us find a place in the world.
The glittering costumes of Ningyo-Joruri: A puppetry revival project 🇯🇵 - Miki Hanafusa explores the costumes that would catch the eye of villagers in Japan's traditional outdoor puppet theatres.
Women’s Wealth Project: Biruko and Tuhu hoods - Sana Balai and Ruth McDougall write about the precious fibre objects, biruku and tuhu hoods, that arose from a series of workshops in Bougainville and Solomon Islands.
Ainu textiles: Cloth weighted with affection and prayer 🇯🇵 - ann-elise lewallan shares her research on the cultural context of Ainu textiles and Kaizawa Tamami explains her design practice
To carve memories: The belt of El Señor de Lázaro in Oaxaca 🇲🇽 - María del Carmen Castillo Cisneros recounts the challenge of re-making a sacred belt and how it reveals ancient Zapotec memories.
Learning from a master: Making bilas with natural dyes in PNG - Joycelin Leahy reflects on what she learned growing up with the craft experts from her village in Papua New Guinea
Weaving the feathered serpent - Yunuen Perez recounts her journey across the Pacific and the feathered serpent she takes with her.
Wickery and place - Ray Norman reveals the hidden world of wickery and its role in our musing places
Where the weaver left off - Gwen Egg discovers an ingenious fibre "needle and thread" used in traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal basket weaving
Building a better dome - Greg Lehman discovers tunapri knowledge involved in the construction of the palawa Tasmanian Aboriginal shelter
Material culture in Arabia: Bedouin women and the art of sadu weaving - Laila Al-Hamad identifies the austerity of a Bedouin life as the inspiration for Arab design
Quarterly essay: Embodied history 🎧 - In the process of reconstructing the traditional midi necklace, Lisa Hilli finds a deeper understanding of her Tolai culture.
Contemporary lei and body adornment from the Torres Strait Islands - Simone LeAmon travels to the islands of the Torres Straits to commission contemporary leis for the National Gallery of Victoria.
Embodied history: Remaking and returning the midi to the Tolai 🎧 - In the process of reconstructing the traditional midi necklace, Lisa Hilli finds a deeper understanding of her Tolai culture.
Kete photography - Kirsten Lyttle has developed a photography/weaving practice that reflects indigenous values of respect and reciprocity.
Taonga and Photography in the Post-Treaty Settlement Era: A Case Study of Photograms by Mark Adams and Areta Wilkinson - Damian Skinner writes about the collaboration between jeweller Areta Wilkinson and photographer Mark Adams which use photograms as a way of "capturing" taonga.
Quarterly essay – Everything Happens to Everyone: A Rodney Glick story ✿ - They’re boots. Military field boots, I’d say; they have that look about them: pugnacious toe; thick, corrugated sole; long tongue and half-laced upper; although there is an unexpected zipper along the shaft.
Bridewealth of the Dayak Lundayeh - Karen Macdonald with Paulus Kadok describe a marriage ceremony in a Dayak village of Kalimantan. With help from John Boyd McDonald's photos, they show how the adat rituals involving textile and fibres crafts remain a vivid part of their cultural life.
Quarterly Essay: Remembering the string figures of Yirrkala✿ - Robyn McKenzie discovers a mysterious trove of books about string figures. To understand their meaning today, she travels to Yirrkala and learns slowly how to create these figures for herself. But it is only by making them into a static art product, through printmaking, that she is able to engage the community. What unfolds is a revelation of thinking through string.
Jwahr: New Iranian and Persian Jewellery - This exhibition is a selection of work who have shown at Aria Gallery in Tehran. The work heralds a new generation of artists in the field of global art jewellery. Their work shows the capacity of jewellery to give personal meaning to lost traditions and stories. 
Quest for the lost bronze casters: A journey to Ban Pa Ao - A dinner party conversation sets Rudee Tancharoen on a quest to find the lost casters of northern Thailand. She discovers an ancient village who welcomed her visit.
The kaavad: from devotion to decoration - For Ishan Khosla, ventures forth to revive the traditional storytelling device known as the kaavad. Does it still serve its original purpose as a form of religious worship? The kaavad that results from this quest tells the story of its own evolution from sacred to social.
The kediyun: A slow turn for fast fashion - Intrigued by the kediyun, a Rabari traditional upper garment, LOkesh Ghai apprentices himself to a traditional tailor. Along the way, he learns an important lesson for contemporary fashion.