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Museum supports innovation for sustainability

5 MARCH 2009

Selling Yarns 2: Innovation for sustainability, a conference and workshop program exploring contemporary Indigenous craft and design practice, will be held at the National Museum of Australia from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 March, 2009.

The conference follows on from Selling Yarns: Australian Indigenous Textiles and Good Business in the 21st century, held in Darwin in August 2006. This year the conference will focus on sustainability. Andy Greenslade, Curator with the National Museum's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program, said that this is an important issue for continuing Indigenous craft and design practice.

"In order for contemporary Indigenous arts and craft practice to survive, the artists must be able to maintain not only financial sustainability, but also sustainability of the materials they use to create their work," Andy said.

The conference, jointly organised by the National Museum of Australia, Craft Australia and the Australian National University, provides an opportunity for fibre and textile artists across Australia to share ideas and experiences.

Conference delegates as well as National Museum visitors can see demonstrations of traditional techniques in basketry and textiles, and attend practical workshops on traditional craft techniques including contemporary string and necklace making, basket making and needle felting. The exciting program of events will conclude with a craft and design market, an opportunity to purchase unique craft pieces direct from the artist.

Selling Yarns 2: Innovation for sustainability is presented in association with the exhibition ReCoil: Change and Exchange in Coiled Fibre Art, currently on display at the National Museum of Australia. Approximately 20 artists represented in the exhibition will travel from regional and remote communities to attend the conference, participate in workshops and sell some of their work at the craft and design market at the National Museum on Sunday.

Selling Yarns 2: Innovation for sustainability has been generously supported by Indigenous Business Australia, the Australia Council for the Arts and ArtsACT. Full program details available at: www.sellingyarns.com

For more information about ReCoil: Change and Exchange in Coiled Fibre Art visit www.nma.gov.au

For interviews, images and more information please contact Caroline Vero on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or media@nma.gov.au