The opening night event for the City of Design: Craft ACT Annual Members Exhibition was held on the evening of the 21st of September. The exhibition features works by 58 current members of Craft ACT and covers a wide range of techniques and materials, including jewellery, furniture, metal, textiles, ceramics, and glass.

The idea of Canberra as a city of design set the atmosphere for the evening. Three speakers were invited to deliver their view on Canberra as a hub of creativity that fosters a strong local community of artists, makers and designers. The first speaker was Annie Trevillian, the longest serving member in the show, who wore for the occasion her screen-printed ensemble with regulation double shoulder pads as a symbolic linkage to her 30 year association with Craft ACT.

Annie was followed by Peter Dawson, author of Creative Capital: Global successes from bright ideas. His speech touched upon the diversity and depth of Canberra’s art and craft scene, as well as its global reach, exemplified by the esteemed careers of Richard Whiteley, Alison Jackson, Jennifer Robertson, Tom Skeehan, Janet DeBoos and Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, to name a few. The final speaker, Catherine Newton, a recent graduate from the ANU School of Art & Design, is one of the newest exhibiting members to join Craft ACT. She expressed her appreciation for our community that supports all makers, whether established or emerging.

For the first time ever, the annual members exhibition is also accessible via a digital platform designed by Geoff Hinchcliffe, Senior Lecturer, ANU. Each work in the show is featured, along with information on the artists and their responses to the question, ‘What does living, working and making in Canberra mean to you?’. The website thus serves not only to connect audiences with the works regardless of their physical location, but to map the local creative ecosystem, a testament to the ever-changing field of contemporary craft and design.