Slovenian Handicrafts Sydney & Brisbane 2009

Slovenian Emigrant Handicraft Archives
Field trip to Sydney and Brisbane in June 2009

Melbourne, 20 July 2009

This year the Handicrafts project is progressing further afield to New South Wales and Queensland. Field research trips in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, was made possible by the financial support the Office for Slovenes Abroad (Urad za Slovence v zamejstvu in po svetu) in Slovenia.

A treasury of crafted works utilising Slovenian traditional skills maintained by Slovene emigrants in Australia, which may be lost if not photographed and recorded in time, is the impetus for the Archives. The aim of the project is to record the work of Slovenian migrant practitioners of handicrafts and generally includes any creative handicraft-women and -men wherever they live. Handicrafts have become a matter of great interest in Victoria, and a handicrafts committee of five was formed to pursue the matter of further recording and extending the project.

Early in the year I asked Meta Lenarčič if she would be interested to participate in the field trip. This involved organisation of the trip, contacting and corresponding with HASA NSW, Fr. Darko and Fr. Valerijan in Sydney, Mirko Cuderman, and Milena Langeršek in Brisbane.

Meta and I arrived in Sydney on 19 June, and were invited to attend the Slovenia's Statehood Day celebration at Panthers/Triglav Club on Sunday 21 June. An enormous amount of photography and documentation was completed in Sydney. The HASA staff, Martha Magajna, Mihelca Šušteršič and Maria Grosman, supported us in every way. They organised  photographic sessions, contacted producers, and collected handicrafts. We continued on Tuesday 23 June to Brisbane and the club Planinka, where we were given all assistance by Milena and Vlado Langeršek, and met a great number of handicrafts producers.

The trip has resulted in a considerable collection of records and photos. There were 14 producers in NSW, and 26 in Queensland. There are 226 photos taken in Sydney, and 291 in Queensland; totalling 517 images. For a visual impression of the field trip, the photo album of the trip may be viewed in Galeria Sloveniana, Slovenian Handicrafts - Sydney and Brisbane; on the link: .
For the report in Slovenian language see Misli/Thoughts (July/August), pp.22 to 24, on Glas Slovenije,

The Handicrafts Archives project first started in 2006 and presents work by Slovenes living in Victoria, mainly in Melbourne. It is online as one of the permanent exhibitions of the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum of Ljubljana. More than 180,000 viewers have seen the handicrafts on the dedicated web site . The Archives are a joint initiative of Slovenian Ethnographic Museum and the Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria. The web site was launched at the biennale Slovenian Festival at Jadran Club in Melbourne in March 2008.
Since the announcement of the trip, I am happy to report that we have received several enquiries by people who have collections at home and are interested in contributing to the collection.

Aleksandra Ceferin

For any information on Slovenian handicrafts or to participate in the project please contact or write to: 
Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria Inc.
2/43 Stockdale Avenue, North Clayton, Victoria, 3168 AUSTRALIA.

Tel: +61 03 9544 0595

Document for download:
Slovenian Handicrafts: Sydney and Brisbane 2009

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