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Australia and Germany: International Craft Triennial: [address to] 8th International Craft Triennial Art Gallery of South Australia, 8 March 2001

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Australia and Germany: International Craft Triennial 8th International Craft Triennial Art Gallery of South Australia Thursday 8th March 2001 6.30pm Peter McGauran

I am delighted to be with you for this exciting event.

A vital part of Australia's social and cultural life is the promotion of ongoing international cultural relationships with other nations.

And Australia and Germany: international craft triennial is a perfect illustration of an artistic meeting of two cultures.

The art gallery of South Australia has long had a commitment to contemporary craft and decorative arts from all era's and countries.

Not only is the gallery the focal point for the contemporary crafts and decorative arts in South Australia;

They actively seek exhibitions from all over the world

Which has brought us together tonight to celebrate a fascinating and very beautiful exhibition of German and Australian artists.

Internationally, Germany has a strong reputation for its contemporary craft.

And the museum of decorative arts in Frankfurt is a leading German gallery and advocate for contemporary craft.

In 1978 it establishedthe prestigious German triennial of contemporary craft.

It has become one of the most important exhibitions monitoring new developments in international applied and decorative art.

At each triennial a guest nation is invited to exhibit the finest of their contemporary craft alongside that of contemporary German craft.

In the past guest exhibitors have included Great Britain, the Netherlands, Finland and South Korea.

Each triennial is different in character, illustrating changing cultural values and the ideas and visions of artists at the time.

Following a visit to Australia in 196 by Dr Sabine Runde, curator at the museum of decorative arts

Expressions of curatorial interest were sought in Australia.

Funds were made available for Australia to be the focus nation of the 8th German craft triennale by the visual arts and craft fund of the Australia council, which by happy coincidence is headed by Ron Radford.

The project has been superbly managed by the art gallery of South Australia.

The exhibition has been an outstanding opportunity for Australian contemporary craft and design to be shown in an international context;

As there has been no European exposure on this scale in recent years.

Works have been selected from 100 artists using a variety of mediums;

Ceramics, jewellery, textiles, glass, metalwork, furniture, woven baskets and exquisite artists' books.

And they portray the innovative and distinct styles of some of the world's leading craft practitioners.

I congratulate all the artists and the curators, Dr Sabine Runde from the museum of decorative arts in Frankfurt who is here this evening;

And Mr Christopher Menz of the art gallery of South Australia on working together so successfully to construct a balanced and powerful exhibition.

And thanks must also go to Mr James Bradburne, director of the museum of decorative arts in Frankfurt;

And Mr Ron Radford, director of the art gallery of South Australia for their support of the project.

Although styles and techniques can be shared, you can easily see the different influences in the two countries.

each piece is truly unique.

Following this showing, the exhibition will travel to object galleries in Sydney for an opening in may.

I am pleased to say that last year was a rewarding year for our visual and craft artists in Germany.

And this is no surprise, given the different artists who contributed.

The works originate from all parts of Australia;

And reflects the imagination and skills of a cross section of individuals.

At the same time, the Berlin biennale has selected a number of Australian artists for its next event in may.

The exhibition provides a wonderful tribute to the strong professional and cultural relationship of both our nations.

It is my pleasure to declare the Australia and Germany: international craft triennial officially open.

Thank you

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