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The Indian Ocean Craft Triennial reaches out to the region with the aims of achieving cultural learning and exchange. It’s a unique opportunity to build new relationships with craft as the base from which other larger issues are revealed. Geography, diversity, gender politics, dispossession, repossession, environment and sustainability are explored through the triennial with craft as the lens through which artists discuss these issues.

Creative adaptability is the key to successful practice.

While societies globally experience rapid and vast transformations based on technology, innovation, and mass communication, the emotional value of craft and the hand-made is increasing. As studio artists and traditional artisans respond to new circumstances, we witness a re-engagement of contemporary craft by makers willing to sustain the value and benefit of the hand-made in contemporary life.

Throughout the Indian Ocean region craft objects and artefacts have traditionally been linked to specific uses. Whether on a daily basis, for special ceremonies or acts of worship, rituals of the everyday touch each of us in different ways, for example:

Votive: describing systems and formalities of belief

Family/Utility: objects with their roots in function and domestic use

Shelter: referencing the architectures of physical protection

Adornment: a process of embellishment or beautification.

As we have researched artists and creative craft approaches, a number of sub-themes and messages have emerged strongly, concerning factors, such as: cultural reclamation, socio-political, environment and technology.