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Dragonfly Craft Fair

IF THIS YEAR’S Dragonfly Craft Fair is anything to go by, artisan inspiration is on the up.

By Anna Dowd

This month, the lawns of Darwin Waterfront come alive with creativity as over 60 local makers share their handmade ceramics, jewellery, homewares, paintings, prints, clothing, textiles and more.

Tactile Arts’ General Manager Tessa Duke says it’s clear from store holder applications that 2020 has provided fertile ground for creative practice.

“We’ve had a lot of new applications from people we’ve not worked with before. The conditions of this year seem to have given people time to get stuck into their creative process and try some new things as well.”

From original leather accessories by Christine Spielman of Requiem Trend, to exquisite textile and fibre tapestries by Bianca Butler, Duke says the work of artisans in Top End is endlessly impressive.

“It still blows my mind – Darwin is not a big place but the amount of people who are getting stuck into the creative scene and just really making some pretty extraordinary work is incredible.”

Duke says people get into making for a variety of reasons, and often it’s a kind of stress release for those working in high pressure industries, like ceramist and emergency department nurse Frances Tighe.

“Frances came through one of the workshops at Tactile Arts and she’s a regular user of our studios. In her downtime, she’s been working on her craft and is now taking part in the fair selling really beautiful ceramic coffee mugs and other pieces.”

Chatting with artisans and connecting with their stories is part of the experience, which this year involves a little extra strolling as stalls are spaced out for health purposes.

“If you want to know more about the product and the person who made it, you’ve got the maker right there,” says Duke.

“Having that connection with the person who crafted the work and knowing it was made locally with a lot of love absolutely makes it a unique experience.”

Dragonfly Craft Fair 2020

Photo: Catherine Buckley


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