We make this city: #acraftedcity


23 April 2019

Reflection pods woven by Yolngu women for Westpac Sydney office, photo: Maree Homer

In response to our Sydney Safe Harbour issue, Garland announces a campaign to promote the role of craft in making our cities liveable.

The city seems inhospitable to the slow and focused activity of craft. The stressful traffic and ugly advertising can divert concentration from focussed demands of making. The high costs of housing and living make it difficult to dwell in an occupation that is based on manual production.

Yet increasing numbers of us choose to dwell in cities. We need something human to counter the anonymous glass and concrete blocks that are constructed around us. Issue #15 contained stories of how craft can feature in the life of a city as bustling as Sydney. Peter Emmett evoked the presence of craft in a city’s “deep time”:

Sydney is a crafted city, a drowned river valley shaped from stone, wood, water and us. It gives of itself to make itself. We shape it and it shapes us in turn. Tides and winds drift through this harbour city like shifting moods, memory and imagination. – Peter Emmett

We learnt from the “craft classic” of Ben Edols’ Hayman Jug how a locally made object can become a key part of how people dwell in a city. The commission of Yolngu weavers from Elcho Island and Milingimbi brought “remote” Australia into Sydney’s CBD. And the work of Yirran Miigadhu whose how craft provides a future place for the traditional owners of the land. Globally, there is the rise of World Craft Cities, showing the pride and value many give to local skills and traditions.

To keep this story going, we propose the hashtag #acraftedcity to promote the role of craft in making our cities habitable—somewhere we can belong.

Feel free to use this hashtag for:

  • Vestiges of a craft heritage in the built fabric of the city
  • Crafted elements in public life, such as transport livery, public art
  • City-specific handmade products, such as our craft classics
  • Craft interventions, such as yarn bombing
  • News about craft spaces in the city, such as galleries and membership organisations

Let’s spread the good news of the essential role that craft plays in the places where we live.

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