Work: Soup Bowl (aka Weedy Seadragon Bowl), Vipoo Srivilasa, 2012 photo: Andrew Barcham
In late 2010, a group of craft supporters gathered to plan the development of a collection, specialising in contemporary craft practice.
The Bluestone Collection follows the model of other visual arts collections established by private individuals around Australia, such as the Derwent Collection established by the late Dick Bett, and Citizen Collectors Hawkesbury One. Such collections are funded by individual members who then distribute and rotate the works through their homes.
In the case of the Bluestone Collection, our intention is to donate the works to a suitable institution once the collection reaches maturity.
The vision of the Bluestone Collection is ‘to build a collection that promotes current Australian craft exhibition practice and fosters dialogue.’ We seek to realise this vision by ‘supporting contemporary craft practice and encouraging a high standard of exhibition work within Victoria.’
During the 20th century, Victorian craft was promoted by a number of collecting bodies, particularly the National Gallery of Victoria and the Victorian State Craft Collection. With decline of support from institutions, there has been less motivation for contemporary craftspersons to aspire to produce a work that might have value for future generations, as we now enjoy the decorative arts of previous eras.
Fortunately, Victorian craft at the retail level has boomed in recent years, with the active intervention of organisations like Craft Victoria. But given upper limits on pricing, the scale of such works is modest and focused on current market trends. By pooling our craft purchasing power, members of the Bluestone Collection hope to provide recognition for ambitious exhibition work.
As well as our private funds, we the members of the Bluestone Collection also pool our expertise to ensure that our selection represents a mark of distinction for the artist collected.
As a craft collecting group, we felt it was important to find inspiration in a material that is particular to the place where we live, Melbourne.
To support contemporary craft practice and encourage a high standard of exhibition work within Victoria.
- To develop a knowledge of contemporary craft practice by actively examining and reviewing exhibition practice in Victoria.
- Acquisition of works on an annual basis by a rigorous selection process.
- To create a lasting collection of contemporary craft exhibited in Victoria over a minimum of ten-years.
- The collection is to be drawn from Australian artists exhibiting in Victoria within the calendar year that the acquisition is made.
- The collection is limited to only those artists who have current Australian residence.