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Six Australian Makers Leading The Reuse + Repurpose Movement Come Together At Craft Victoria

Creative People

Craft and design are integral in influencing how materials are selected, used, and repurposed in modern society.  

This notion forms the basis of Alternative Provisions – Craft Victoria’s latest exhibition featuring the work of six artists, makers and designers repurposing organic matter and discarded waste into beautiful and productive items. 

From table lamps made from recycled waste glass, to fishing nets manipulated with masterful weaving and sewing techniques, discover the potential of conscious alternatives in this exciting exhibition.  

11th February, 2022

Install shot of ‘Alternative Provisions’ on now at Craft Victoria. Photo – Henry Trumble.

The studio materials of Narelle White. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Narelle White at work on her sculptures. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Works by Narelle White using alternative clay made from organic matters including food and grains. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Narelle White in the studio. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Ella Saddington making an experimental work turning excess denim into functional furniture. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Artist Ella Saddington. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Ella Saddington working on her piece. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Inside Ella Saddington’s work station. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Ella Saddington’s piece on show at Craft Victoria. Photo – Henry Trumble.

Bioplastic pieces by Jessie French made from sawdust and microalgae. Photo – Henry Trumble.

Alexi Freeman in the studio. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Textile artist Alexi Freeman makes ground-breaking explorations into bio-textiles by using microorganisms from nutrient-rich food waste. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Alexi cutting the organic textile pieces. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

The pieces have a crinkled, cellophane-like look and feel. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

James Walsh at work with his materials in the rammed earth process. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

James Walsh getting his hands dirty! Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

James Walsh’s Anthropic Lamp series made with locally-sourced soil and repurposed recycled glass (a retake on the rammed earth process that dates back to 5000 BC). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Artist James Walsh. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Photo – Henry Trumble.

Left:  Hanging pieces by Yu-Fang Chi. Right: Sculptures by Narelle White. Photo – Henry Trumble.

Amelia Barnes
Friday 11th February 2022

‘It is integral that we continue to look for better and more environmentally conscious materials. Makers are not only explorers, but they are also consumers.’ – Eliza Tiernan, Craft Victoria.

See the work of six innovative Australian makers expanding material practice as an act of ‘making good’ at Alternative Provisions, now showing at Craft Victoria. 

Underpinning each maker’s process in this exhibition is the consideration of material longevity and life cycle, with a central commitment to reuse and repair.

‘Exhibitors focus on extending the utility of materials and increasing the usage of resources,’ explains Eliza Tiernan, curatorial and programs manager at Craft Victoria. ‘They each experiment with unexpected and or discarded matter and look at how alternatives can be incorporated alongside or used in place of more traditional materials.’

Each of the works on show features foraged material (both organic matter or discarded waste product), transformed to offer production alternatives, as well as a means to tell new stories.

Works in Alternative Provisions include Jessie French’s bioplastic vessels transformed from sawdust; a weaving installation made with recycled yabby nets by Yu-Fang Chi; Narelle White’s alternative clay revolution using organic matters including food and grains; James Walsh’s Anthropic Lamp series made with locally-sourced soil and repurposed recycled glass (a retake on the rammed earth process that dates back to 5000 BC); Ella Saddington’s experimental work turning excess denim into functional furniture; and the ground-breaking exploration of bio-textile using microorganisms from nutrient-rich food waste by textile artist Alexi Freeman.

As an organisation that champions local makers, Craft Victoria sees promotion of expanded material practice with a focus on conscious consumption as their responsibility. 

‘It is integral that we continue to look for better and more environmentally conscious materials. Makers are not only explorers, but they are also consumers. Their choices of material have lasting implications and influence on consumer culture,’ says Eliza. 

Presented as part of Melbourne Design Week and Craft Victoria’s ‘Rethinking Materials’ hero program, Alternative Provisions joins the broader conversation on the environmental implications of human presence and the revaluation of our actions. 

Alternative Provisions
Thursday February 10 – Saturday March 26, 2022
Craft Victoria
Watson Place, Melbourne 

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net