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Dragonfly in the Dry

A glorious celebration of the Dry Season, the Tactile Arts Dragonfly Craft Fair returns to the front lawns of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory to showcase the wares of the creative, tactile arts scene in the Territory.

By Kate Conway

From the native dyes and natural fibres used, to the environment, landscape and weather, the Dry and everything that comes with it is a strong theme influencing artists, and permeating through the creations of Darwin’s crafty makers.

One of three flagship events for the organisation, this year’s Fair, in the words of Tactile Arts General Manager Tessa Duke, is a big one, featuring over 80 stallholders of new and returning artists.

“It’s something really special for us to do, not only represent very well-known and long standing professional artists from across the Top End, but also really foster and encourage and support activity by our emerging artists,” she says.

One artist referencing the iconic characteristics of the NT is Tania Malkin. Well established as an aerial landscape photographer, Malkin presents prints and cards featuring her distinctive imagery, in addition to her newest venture, brightly glazed, ceramic ornaments of local birds, in particular, the Gouldian Finch.

Another vibrant, colourful offering is decoupage jewellery and homewares from Marie Kudo, created with wood block, hand-printed Japanese paper, in a way that maintains the vivid hues and patterns. For the little ones, Jessica Keogh brings her unique, needle felted and sewn accessories and toys – think princess wands, reversible crowns and crayon rolls for budding young artists.

As well as the Fair, Tactile Arts offers open studios and artist demonstrations on the day, allowing visitors to catch a glimpse behind the scenes and experience the environment where the magic happens.

“We encourage people to come through and have a deeper understanding of the process of making the arts and crafts, and hopefully spark that interest in themselves to come and participate in a workshop – start to delve into a little bit of their own creativity,” says Tessa.

With kids’ art activities, and coffee and treats provided by Saltwater Café, make a day of it with the whole family and indulge in the creative atmosphere at this exciting exposé of Territory talent.

Tactile Arts Dragonfly Craft Fair

Thumbnail & header: Made by Mariye, Marie Kudo, Decoupaged Earrings
Inset: Pinched Pottery & Art, Tania Malkin, Ceramic Finch Ornaments

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