DAC:CAC…look out, it’s back…

It’s our fave arty-farty intellectually stimulating program of the year; DAC:CAC at Craft ACT – where the objét of the exercise is to focus attention on the looming Canberra Centenary (2013.)




DAC:CAC is a fabulously vibrant project that’s now into its third year – and gearing up incrementally as it gets nearer and nearer to The Big Bang Galah.

Barb and her crew at Craft ACT continue to turn the juice up a notch every year, and it’s quietly building  into something that’s gunna REALLY GO OFF  by the big ’13.

Get involved, dudes, that’s our advice. Otherwise you’ll miss out on all the serious fun…

Here’s this year’s rundown, courtesy of the lovely Diana…

Designing a Capital: Crafting a City 09 
13 August – 1 September 2009

In less then five years Canberra will celebrate its Centenary. Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre has taken this opportunity to celebrate the centenary by drawing to light the innovation and imagination resident in the city, by leading and emerging contemporary craft practitioners – presenting Designing a Capital: Crafting a City 09. A stellar line-up of events that will rummage through the myths, criticisms, aspirations and responsibilities of the nations capital, focusing on the dynamic visual art scene. Exhibitions will expose new ideas sourced directly from the graduates of the Australian National University School of Art, University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute of Technology. Programs of dialogue will illuminate Canberra as a breeding ground for artistic practice and determine the value of the arts which contributes to this unique city. Join in the discussion and rediscover your home.

Craft ACT Gallery 1 & 2 / 13 – 25 August. Closing party from 6pm Tuesday 25 August. Special opening hours: 10am – 5pm Monday 17 & 24 August.
Taking over the galleries at Craft ACT are the latest graduates who have broken out and started to craft and design a career in the arts – University of Canberra Ben Hubbard and Renee Osterloh; Australian National University School of Art Richard Blackwell and Dan Edwards and Canberra Institute of Technology Eden Waugh and Jacob Potter.
LOST YOU Deborah Fiori
Crucible Showcases / 13 – 25 August.
Responding to the words LOST YOU as painted across Canberra road, Ginninderra Drive, Fiori creatively explores the multifaceted nature of loss, and the challenges communities face in allocating space for such sentiment.
city of design talkfest: industry – innovation
Craft ACT Gallery 1 & 2 – FREE EVENT / Thursday 20 August 6pm – 7pm
city of design talkfest dives deep into the vital but sometimes tenuous links between craft and industry. Join Barbara McConchie Executive Director of Craft ACT and Catrina Vignando General Manager of Craft Australia along with leading Canberra professionals, Dr John Howard University of Canberra, Glen Martin & Obelia Tait Pecha Kucha Canberra Co-ordinators, Robert Foster F!NK and Co., Dianne Firth Environmental Design University of Canberra, as they discuss the questions: Does craft and design have a place in the innovation revolution? & How can we drive this change in Canberra?
Living with Ruth Lane-Poole: an Interior Legacy
Canberra Museum and Gallery – FREE EVENT / Crn London Cct and Civic Sq, Canberra City
Tuesday 1 September 2pm – 5pm / Contact Craft ACT to reserve your seat. (02) 6262 9333.
Explore the legacy of Ruth Lane-Poole, join a number experts, including Dr Susan Mary Withycombe, Dr David Headon, Charles Lane-Poole biographer John Dargavel, National Library of Australia’s Eleanor Goodwin and Rowan Henderson, Curator, Social History, Canberra Museum and Gallery – as they discuss several key questions: What concepts of design and modernity did she bring to the city of Canberra? Is her work recognised in the context of a living museum? & Is the Lodge, as a primary residence, still fit for the Australian Prime Minister today?
Feast for All Senses

Craft ACT Shop –FREE EVENT / Thursday 27 August 6pm – 7pm
Craft ACT in partnership with Di Bartolo Wines presents an evening celebration of local talent. Presenting the taste bud tingling boutique wines by Di Bartolo, and celebrating the innovative designs of local craft and designers, you are invited to a Feast for All Senses wine tasting at the Craft ACT Shop. Meet local wine vignerons (growers) Ross and Fiona Di Bartolo and add to your repertoire of wines, mingle with the makers and enjoy unique and creative objects of contemporary craft and design, the fun, the quirky, the cutting edge and the stylish.
Bookings are essential. Contact Craft ACT (02) 6262 9333
Craft ACT Bingo Extravaganza!
Craft ACT Gallery 1 & 2 / 6pm till late Saturday 29 August
Craft ACT’s fundraiser for the year – the Craft ACT Bingo Extravaganza! We invite you to become a stamping fanatic, adopt a new lingo: Legs 11, 2 Little Ducks, 66 Clickety Clicks and 1 Fat Lady, and vie for prizes donated by the members of Craft ACT and local businesses.
Entry: $20 includes dinner and lucky door prize. Bookings are essential. Contact Craft ACT (02) 6262 9333.

HELL, YEAH!! – we love that bingo night.

The wild ones…

Jas has sent through a string of snaps taken by Simon at Craft ACT’s Custom Made opening. We’ve been busy spotting the wild ones…



…like Nige and David discussing the finer points of the duco…




For the whole peep show go here.

Thanks fellers! Makes us want to throw a leg over (which is kinda what the ChopperWorks chaps were suggesting, no?)

Aussie blokes…


Geoff from ChopperWorks (above) giving the speech, and Ralph with his pride’n joy (below)…



Nige has sent through some snaps of the opening of Custom Made at Craft ACT last Thursday and a link to iconophilia’s coverage of the show, Hogs@Craft.

Meanwhile lots of trés juicy quotes have been filtering through including a ripper from Geoff who, when asked about the source of Ralph’s inspiration for his Teal Blue Softail, offered up a classic…’Well, you know, if you put a lady face down on the bed…’




As charming a design principle as any, we guess. Who said romance was dead?

Vroom, Vroom…

Wow!! Jas Hugonnet’s latest exhibition at Craft ACT looks like it’s gunna be one helluva fabulous tear-away…


(above) Corey Allen’s Softail (Corey’s the head honcho at Chopperworks in Fyshwick.)


This is when craft becomes sex on wheels. The exhibition opens this coming Thursday. Dress: Leathers.

The Gang, unfortunately, will be unable to attend (total bummer, but it’s something to do with unlawful association) – nonetheless we’re really looking forward to some snaps of opening night Jas(!!)

Ode to Lake George…

Before the Sketching-DAC:CAC program set in we managed to catch the tail end of Baseline: Remnant Grasslands of Weereewa/Lake George (featuring the work of Beth Hatton and Christine James) and weaving in and out of time (Caroline Huf).

Omigod, what a gorgeous exhibition!!


Christine Jame’s work above, and Beth Hatton’s below




Beth Hatton’s woven pieces, in particular, were just incredible – and so evocative of the post-colonial ecology of the topographically mysterious Lake George. Apparently the field trip (which headlined the public program component of the exhibition) was really something – one of those ‘stand-out heppenings’ you forever kick yourself for not attending. Bummer.

And Caroline Huff’s work in Gallery 2 was wunderbar too – though, of course, on an entirely different tack altogether…



Treat yourself to more visuals here.

Innovation central…


Local Innovations kicked off at Craft ACT last night with a double-header featuring the product launch of Catherine Reid’s new range of trés elegant porcelain lights and the CIT Fashion Department’s annual student parade. The storeroom at Craft ACT has never seen so much frou frou action and after an afternoon of dress rehearsal and all-round tweaking the show finally went off with a serious bang in front of a large audience of family, friends and familiar others.  

Local winery Lerida Eastate kindly donated the plonk for the event and we’re happy to report that the rosé was surprisingly good (we’re always on the lookout for a decent rosé…); a happy explosion of passionfruit notes – really quite luscious. Anyhoo, a most enjoyable evening was clearly had by all, with many punters opining that this year’s parade was the best yet. Congrats to all involved (including the sound and lighting students who put together the funky backdrop.)

For snaps of the highlights go here.

Bingo! this Saturday night…




(above) Just some of the many prizes going off at this year’s Bingo Extravaganza at Craft ACT (click to enlarge)


Forget about mystery bag meat trays, tacky white goods and boring old cash – Bingo! at Craft ACT is pure class; hand-made artworks ranging from jewellery to studio glass to chic designer ware to gourmet hampers to ceramics to textiles and so much more. And there’ll be plenty of marvellous novelty door prizes as well, including a mystery dress prize – so drag out your best bingo trackies and get down with the nanna thematic.

One of the stand-out prizes this year is a solo show at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery (yep, inclusion in their 2009 exhibition program!!) For a mere $2 and a killer pitch of 25 words or less you can snag yourself a serious addition to your professional CV! Application forms will be available at the door on the night (ie you must be attending the Bingo!) and the winner will be announced at the end of the evening (immediately following the final jackpot prize.)

Craft ACT will be running a bar, and scrumptious homemade soup will be available in bowls made by members of the Canberra Potter’s Society (ie buy a bowl, and the soup’s additional.) If last year’s anything to go by, we can guarantee a very entertaining night. It goes from 6pm until late, and we recommend you book a table (ph. 62629333) Kiddies under 18 years of age are not permitted (by law) to attend, sorry.

Meanwhile the bad news is that the dreadful lurgy sweeping Canberra at the moment has felled key members of tomorrow night’s city of design talkfest: creativity-design-innovation  panel, and so the event has reluctantly been cancelled. The good news is that it will be rescheduled –  sometime in late October – so keep an eye out on the Craft ACT website for that…

At the end of the day…


Actually, the header for this post can double as the Gang’s own contribution to the Shifting Perspectives Part 2  exhibition.

It’s got be our least favourite catch phrase of all time. Having spread like a virus it now falls trippingly off the tongue of every politician in every interview you ever hear these days – and not just pollies; everybody uses it, from television commentators to bloody football coaches, even. It’s now replaced the noddingly ponderous “indeed” as top of the Gang’s ‘gormless generic banalities’ hit list. Too ‘orrible for words.

Anyhoo, Shifting Perspectives part 2  folded on Monday night with a combined floor talk from a gaggle of participating artists and plenty of good natured repartee between Nige and his (barely)invisible wet dream consortium (…or, dare we say, fan club.)

We’ll put it into some sensible curatorial perspective next week but in the meantime, for some snaps of Monday’s soiree, go here.

In at Craft ACT they’re now busily setting up for the next event, Local Innovations; An evening of innovative design, which features the product launch of Craft ACT Accredited Professional Member Catherine Reid’s fabulous new range of sophisticated porcelain lights coupled with drawing with light, the Canberra Institute of Technology Fashion Department’s annual experimental fashion night.  The latter is a collaborative presentation of student fashion design, photography and sound – and it all kicks off tomorrow evening (Thursday 4th September) from 6pm in the Craft ACT gallery.

Be there or be a dreary rectangle.

Post script…


Nigel Lendon’s Wet Dream Support Group  dropped by for one final addition before disappearing back into the ether, anonymity intacto. (Don’t worry, Alice hardly knew what hit her!)

We’ll bring you a round-up of all the thrills of the exhibition directly (though we’ll probably wait until we’re back at the hideout before giving it a proper review…)

Spring is sprung…


Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious springtime by this son of yore (…apologies to the Bard.)

There’s been more mischief afoot at Craft ACT – the nefarious Nigel Lendon’s Wet Dream Support Group has pulled off a cultural break and entry in the gallery over the weekend and clearly nothing was safe nor sacred…though we suspect that Al would probably have approved heartily.

More snaps to come after the big closing party tonight (from 5pm, see you there…)



                                     Viva Zagrassby!!