Australian Design Centre is a leading centre for contemporary craft and design in Australia. We play a critical role in building a significant design culture for this country by nurturing a nation of innovative makers and thinkers and inspiring audiences to use design in their lives. Our exhibitions, education and public program events, research and digital content actively nurtures innovation in making and the development of new audiences for craft, art and design across Australia.
Touring has been central to our work for 50 years. Since the 1970s ADC has toured nationally and been at the forefront of providing regional Australia with access to cutting edge work and ideas and since 2006, more than 50% of our touring venues have been regionally based. Presenting the work and innovative practices of artists in craft and design is central to all our work. ADC On Tour has an unprecedented national reach that reinforces our role as a significant national organisation.
Since 2005 we have presented 35 touring exhibitions that have made more than 250 stops at 90 different arts organisations across all states and territories. Collectively and to date, more than 1.6 million people have seen these exhibitions.
Four exhibitions have also toured internationally to great acclaim, including Global Local to the Victoria & Albert Museum, London in 2005 & the 2nd International Triennale of Craft at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan in 2013.
Partnerships are a central part of the touring work undertaken by ADC and in the last eight years, three significant partnerships have been established to help develop different touring exhibitions & their related education and public programs. Lola Greeno was developed in partnership with the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston and in 2015 ADC worked with Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo to produce Shapeshifters 3D: Printing the Future.
In 2022, ADC and The Australian Ceramics Association partnered to develop SIXTY: The Journal of Australian Ceramics 60th Anniversary 1962-2022, a special exhibition project to acknowledge this significant anniversary. This national touring exhibition of Australian contemporary ceramics tours from 2022-2026, visiting 16-venues across Australia.
Over the summer of 2022/2023, three Australian Design Centre exhibitions converged at Hazelhurst Arts Centre for a celebration of craft and design. Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft\ Prue Venables, Made/Worn: Australian Contemporary Jeweller and Profile: Contemporary Jewellery and Object Award showcased jewellery, ceramics, and objects from over 90 artists and designers. These major ADC On Tour exhibitions highlighted the art of design and mastery of contemporary craft practice.
One of ADC’s most important touring series is Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft, which celebrates some of Australia’s most respected and iconic contemporary craft artists. Over 400,000 people have visited a Living Treasures exhibition to date and the eighth exhibition, Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels, had a record-breaking 18-stop national tour. Launched in 2019, Prue Venables is ADC's ninth Living Treasure and this exhibition concludes on its critically-acclaimed 13-venue tour in 2023.
Also concluding its 10-venue tour at Hazelhurst Arts Centre in January 2023 is Made/Worn: Australian Contemporary Jewellery. Launched in 2020 it featured the work of 22 acclaimed artists.
Profile: Contemporary Jewellery and Object Award was produced by Australian Design Centre in partnership with the Jewellery and Metalsmiths Group of Australia – NSW Inc. Highlighting contemporary jewellers and object designers 73 were shortlisted for the 2022 Award.
Seedstitch Contemporary Textile Award 2022 exhibition toured as part of ADC On Tour to Tamworth Regional Gallery in December 2022 to February 2023.
The 2023 ADC On Tour program presents the work of over 100 creative practitioners in seven exhibitions at 10-venues nationally.
Good Natured: Design Art Architecture relates directly to the climate emergency. It will feature ten Australian creative practitioners working to design a better future. This exhibition highlights artists, makers, designers, and communicators who are using their practice to address climate issues and create good outcomes.
With development funding from the Federal Government’s Visions Australia program, ADC is preparing the touring exhibition of the work of the tenth Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft with Indigenous fibre artist Mavis Ganambarr to launch in 2024.
The Australia Council for the Arts awarded a $100,000 project grant towards infrastructure support for the ADC on Tour national touring program in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Read more here about our funding success here.
Find our about our current touring exhibitions here.
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Image: Made/Worn: Australian Contemporary Jewellery installed at Glasshouse Port Macquarie, 2020. Photo: Courtesy of Glasshouse, Port Macquarie.
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