Exhibition Essays

2003 Reviews

March 2003

Craft Doesn't Pay Review


Craft Doesn't Pay is an exhibition that aims to explore the cultural and monetary value placed (or indeed not) on craft, taking as its starting point the idea that traditionally, craft has been viewed as women's work and has consequently been given lesser value; seen perhaps as less artistic, appreciated more for it's practical value of the finished products, and the social function it has historically performed.

Six cross-disciplinary contributors have collaboratively produced six very different pieces of craft over the course of six weeks, involving six processes: colour; embellish/manipulate; form finish/package/brand; contextulaise and document; and finally the gallery installation. Such a creative process gives a different idea not only to what it means to create, but also to the concept of ownership, as no one person can claim sole responsibility or ownership of any one of the pieces, yet they would not be what they are unless all of the six artists contributed equal, albeit at different stages of production.

Despite starting out as the same piece of large white cloth, the finished pieces have found form, function and presentation in different ways. There's a child's body bag, a wall of buttons, bondage gear, a kite and wind socks, a mobile, and a giant cross stitch. It is quite fascinating to see how something that started out with the same frame of reference has developed into such different finished products, especially given they all went through the same six people. It certainly puts a very interesting perspective on the creative process, as well as concepts and sources of inspiration.


Originally published by The Package