Belonging to Us: Nurturing women through making is an international social enterprise showcase, curated by Craftspace for Vittoria Street Gallery, School of Jewellery, Birmingham, UK. Australian Design Centre was invited to include information about our collaboration with Indigenous Jewellery Project.

The exhibition tells the story of ten years of Shelanu: Women’s Craft Collective. It celebrates the social impact of projects which provide safe spaces for women’s creative development and the innovative and imaginative new products they create for the marketplace.

Shelanu, means ‘belonging to us’, as describes the collective of migrant and refugee women working with Craftspace to develop craft skills, confidence and well-being through social enterprise. The women produce high quality craft inspired by their new home in Birmingham and their experiences of migration. Through the program, the women learn new making skills and are supported to improve their English, learn business skills and run workshops for the community.

The exhibition features jewellery, textiles and home products by eight social socially-driven organisations: Flourish Jewellery Project (Edinburgh); MasterPeace Academy (Birmingham); Monkeybiz South Africa; An Australian Design Centre and Indigenous Jewellery Project collaboration; Hadithi Crafts; Bosna Quilt Werkstatt; The Siyazama Project supported by Editions in Craft, as well as Shelanu: Women’s Craft Collective.

In line with the rationale for the exhibition, the aim of Australian Design Centre’s collaboration with Indigenous Jewellery Project is to strengthen and continue existing traditions and facilitate artists to develop a career as exhibiting contemporary jewellers through upskilling in the areas of process and use of materials. It is focused on developing and maintaining Aboriginal jewellery and small object traditions and practice, reinforcing the connection to Country and developing a sophisticated contemporary craft practice.

Congratulations to the artists and other organisations involved in this inspirational exhibition, Belonging to Us: Nurturing women through making, about making, innovation and women supporting women.

Craftspace is supported by Crafts Council England.

For more information about Australian Design Centre/Indigenous Jewellery Project collaboration see the following links:

Image credit: Bulay(i) Project Buku-Larrnggay Mulka with Indigenous Jewellery Project 2017, Sasha Mununggurr tries on her first rings. Artwork © the artist, photo: Emily McCulloch Childs.

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