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Curator Leanne Bray with some of the items from Hold, a collection of examples of basketry, currently on display at the Midland Junction Arts Centre.

Biggest craft exhibition in WA is a cultural feast

By Rebecca Peppiatt

The biggest exhibition of craft that Western Australia has ever seen is now in full swing, showcasing not only some of the world’s most fascinating creations, but those made closer to home, too.

The inaugural Indian Ocean Craft Triennial, otherwise known as IOTA21, presents the work of 250 crafts people involved in 50 exhibitions at 40 venues across the State including Mundaring, Midland and Ellenbrook.

“There’s been a lack of ways for craft artists to present their work in Western Australia for a long time and we felt there was a space in which people don’t fully understand what is involved in contemporary craft,” project director and Parkerville resident Jude van der Merwe said.

Ms van der Merwe is also president of the World Craft Council of Australia, which she said has “been an avenue to finding out about craft practices in countries like Thailand and India”.

The idea of the event is to educate people on those craft practices from the countries that surround the Indian Ocean.

“This is partly about us understanding our region better,” Ms van der Merwe.

“This is where we live and these skills have been utilised over thousands of years; weaving, basketry, wood working etc.

“The cups we drink out of, the plates we eat our food off, these things are fundamental to how we talk, live, eat, survive.”

Mundaring Arts Centre currently has an exhibition called Finders Keepers featuring the fibre textile work of Swan View artist Nalda Searles.

This exhibition will run until October 31.

Also now exhibiting is Hold, a collection of examples of historic basketry, curated by Leanne Bray at Midland Junction Arts Centre running until October 30.

When I Saw You, an exhibition of six artists exploring the concept of “connection in the curiosity and rituals of the everyday” through paper, kicks off at Ellenbrook Arts HQ on October 17 to November 14.

Throughout November, Tributaries will be exhibiting at the Mundaring Arts Centre.

It is a new body of work by multidisciplinary artist Tineke Van der Eecken exploring the fibres of flora, fauna, and human systems through jewellery, small fine metal sculptures and biological objects.

And from November 12, at Midland Junction Arts Centre, a showcase of contemporary and historic handmade toys from WA from the early 1920s to today will be on display.

For more information visit www.indianoceancrafttriennial.com

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