Safe harbour

Where I came from - This online exhibition features images of works alongside glimpses of their maker's past. Tap on each image to see where the artist has come from. 
An orchid in the desert – the lacquer journey of Bic Tieu - What does it mean for an Australian to master lacquer art? This quintessential oriental art developed over seven millennia to become one of the most sophisticated languages for expressing the preciousness of human existence. What chance does a young settler culture have to contribute to this tradition? Our ancient art is ochre and bark, not resin. Not only do we lack a history in this art form, the delicate essence of lacquer seems out of proportion to our wide horizons. Like the Japanese haiku, lacquer is a medium for the world in miniature. The challenge of finding a place for Australia in this refined tradition gives the art of Bic Tieu its own unique poignancy. Understanding Bic Tieu’s own journey […]
Wara art from Niigata to York: Japan-inspired hay sculptures 🇯🇵 - Jenny Garroun and Ilsa Bennion tells the story of a West Australian wheatbelt town that was revitalised through the Japanese craft of making rice stalk sculptures
Thanks giving in Australia: Eva Heiky Olga Abbinga’s Rajah Quilt - Kevin Murray describes a project that makes connections across time to the beginning of settlement and space with Aboriginal and craft guild collaborations
Vahana: An Indian-Australian cross-cultural ceramic experience - Bernard Kerr describes the epic production of a 3.5 m high terra cotta horse at the Midland Junction Art Centre by potter Mr Kasirajan from Tamil Nadu
From village to suburb: How Karen weavers retain their culture as art - Pauline Tran describes the way Karen refugees in Australia have been able to use their weaving skills through collaboration with Sara Lindsay and the Australian Tapestry Workshop.
From Thailand to Turkey: Ceramics bloom in Eskişehir - Sukumarl Leksawat (Tuk) is enchanted by the welcome in Turkey, where she finds many similarities with Thailand. The city of Eskişehir provides a site for Thai orchids to bloom in the Turkish sun.
Chilean horsehair jewellery across the Pacific - Crin (horsehair) jewellery is idiomatic to Chilean culture. Trinidad Estay has taken this technique to the other side of the Pacific where it develops a close relationship to its equine origins.
Thailand residency: A string of flowers – a sequence of events - "The freshness of the flowers is also key to the beauty of a Phuang Malai and I was also told you should not smell the Malai as the scent is reserved for the receiver." Jess Dare takes up a residency in Thailand to understand the culture of the garland. She faces a dilemma. How can a jeweller, how makes works of lasting value, respond to the culture of the garland which is so ephemeral?
We are all Merantau: Macassan journeys - Abdul-Rahman Abdullah is a Perth-based sculptor whose figurative work conjures the experience of otherness in Australia. In 2015, he visited South Sulawesi with his father to research his Bugis ancestry going back 18 generations. This journey helped re-connect with his Bugis family ancestor, Opu Daeng Parani, who took his family and retinue to seek his fortune in Malaysia, 300 years ago. Abdullah also researched this story during a residency at Galeri Petronas in Kuala Lumpur. Abdul-Rahman Abdullah’s work for the Adelaide Biennal draws on the iconic meaning of objects significant to Bugis culture, such as the rooster and the perahu boat. The rooster is considered Merantau – the one who makes a second home elsewhere. Below, Abdul-Rahman reflects on the […]
The Bolga basket: Ahmedabad comes to Accra - The purpose of the initiative is to adapt sensitively basket-making traditions, practices and challenges facing Africa’s women basket weavers, through drawing on the experience and knowledge of India’s traditional craft and highly developed design sectors.
Islam on Australian shores - Philip George creates surfboards inspired by Islamic architecture.
Tales of Wonderland: Schmuck aus Neuseeland – jewellery from Aotearoa New Zealand - Warwick Freeman and Karl Fritsch go on a fishing expedition for contemporary jewellery in New Zealand / Aotearoa
CIAF and Ghost Net art of the Far North - Sonja Anderson writes about the current status of Ghost Nets and why it has been so successful in communities of Far North Queensland.
Straighten out in Korea - Kenny Son returns to South Korea to straighten out his metalsmithing.