November 22, 2017
Once again in our commitment to making this a truly national study, our intrepid Jane Andrew ventured across the desert to visit the makers of Port Hedland. A huge shout-out and thank-you to Katie Evans from Form. ‘Queen of craft’ Katie had organized for us two whole days of interviews with local makers. What was soon revealed was an active and varied making community of which we only scratched the surface, all of whom were really passionate about their work, regardless of the financial return they may, or may not, have been receiving.
Clearly Port Hedland makers faced specific challenges around the tyranny of distance from Australian urban centres, but like other northern Australian locales benefited deeply from close and thus strong links with near neighbors in Asia, in particular Bali. The value of resources such as Form in regional hubs such as Port Hedland was clearly evident in its role as a creative hub enabling the local making community, providing everything from a focal point for the diverse design craft community, retail outlet (especially in the form of The West End Markets) and skills development (including peer-support artist camps).