Your free what's on guide to the NT

The Arty Heart of the Tropics

What could be better on a perfect Dry season day than cruising through the tropical creativity on display at the Tactile Arts Dragonfly Craft Fair? Following it up with even more art appreciation that’s what!

Imagine being able to take yourself just around the corner to The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) or to the Kulabbarl (Billabong) exhibition featuring works from Injalak Arts at Tactile Arts Studios.

Well, friends, this year you can do all this and more when the much-loved Dragonfly Craft Fair returns to the lawns outside MAGNT, transforming the grassy expanse into an arts and crafts paradise.

With over 60 stalls showcasing a range of goods from Top End artists, designers and makers – including funky fabrics, homewares, jewellery and more – there really is something for everyone.

Expect to be greeted by intriguing art installations as you pull into the MAGNT car park, with a free outdoor exhibition developed by the Australian National Maritime Museum about the humble, much underrated shipping container.

Just next door at Tactile Arts Studio you can catch a glimpse of the creative processes behind the kinds of gorgeous goodies on sale at the fair.

Tactile Arts General Manager, Tessa Duke, says having the studio and gallery open nearby helps visitors connect the popular craft fairs to the organisation behind them, and the work they do cultivating Territory creativity throughout the year.

“There’s a lot that goes on here and what we really want to build is the recognition of the organisation and what it’s doing,” she says.

With the work of exciting young makers, such as stone carver Jake Christian (Okapi Stone Carving), showcased at this year’s fair, the role Tactile Arts plays in fostering the Territory’s creative talent is apparent.

Jake first came to the attention of Tactile Arts by volunteering at a previous craft fair, before becoming a member of the organisation and applying for his own stall. 

“He’s doing sculptural as well as functional carvings from locally sourced stone, which is really beautiful,” explains Tess.

There’s also plenty of beautiful handmade clothing up for grabs by local stitchers and sewers using linen or Australian designed fabrics that are perfect for Darwin weather.

With the new Saltwater @ Bundilla café open for business and food and drinks available on the lawn, both locals and visitors can enjoy a taste of the Territory during the Dry, while immersing themselves in its vibrant artistic heart.

Dragonfly Craft Fair

Thumbnail & header: Piiij Creations
Bottom: Ossom Australia

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