About Liana

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Brisbane, Australia
My studio is located in Brisbane, Australia. For the past 10 years I’ve been enjoying creating jewellery designs from an array of mundane materials. Tupperware and knitting needles have remained a firm favourite. My designs have been published numerous times, graced the shelves of many wonderful galleries and stores and been worn by those whose aren’t afraid of colour and attention. All of which I am very grateful for. For several years I’ve also been fortunate enough to work with many businesses as a coach and workshop facilitator.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Friendly State

Queensland - The friendly state.

It did strike me on moving to Brisbane that people were unexpectedly friendly. Strangers would smile and say "hello". It was a little unnerving at first and not something that I was used to. In Sydney we like to avoid eye contact, generally don't know our neighbours and cherish our 6 foot fences. If Sydney isn't (relatively) friendly I'm going to say that Melbourne is less so. It isn't just the clothing that's black.

I am of course generalising and perhaps exaggerating (once again). What really strikes me is the difference in the art/craft communities. For one thing Melbourne has a community or at least it appears so. In Brisbane arts organisations located within meters of eachother don't communicate. As a member of three (now two) of these organisations I experienced this first hand.

I am thinking about this now as Queenland Artworkers CEO Tony Stephens sent out an open letter to the membership (attached) outlining a recent failed funding application for an exhibition space. He calls the membership to take action as Brisbane artists are sorely lacking in exhibition opportunities.This is true, although I believe working with the resources that are already available and open communication within the arts community may just go somewhere in helping Queensland artists/designers/craftspeople right now. Instead of always looking at what we don't have why not spend more time at looking at what we do and making the most of that?

Perhaps I am naive but I wonder sometimes why we all just can't get along? Isn't there supposed to be strength in numbers?


Maarten said...

Hi Liana,

I just wanted to tell you that I like your jewellery very much. I've added your blog and site to my blog, for other people to look at.

looking forward to your new work.


Liana said...

Hello Maarten,



Rebecca-the-Wrecker said...

hmmm. i can think of a few publicly funded exhibition spaces that appear to be stumbling along in the darkness unaware of the rate of change around them.
anyway, the white box as we know it is dead. time to try something different before art is lost in the storeroom of the museum. what happened to art built in? re arts groups in qld: it's
our memberships and tax dollars that are paying for the organisational egos to snub each other, plot against each other and squabble. how long will we put up with it?

shannon said...

Heaven forbid that Arts bodies in Qld should communicate with themselves or their members. This makes my blood boil- as Rebecca says there is money and resources there but they go toward bickering infighting and inefficiency. Craft Guerrilla Action is the only solution (she is not called "The Wrecker" for nothing!)

shannon said...

Maybe instead of money going once again through the impermeable membrane of the Arts bureaucracy it could go directly to the makers to set up their own exhibitions and strenghten their own practices. This would benefit the whole of Qld rather than a small section of artists with acess to the CBD of Brisbane.

Florence said...

We'll just have to DYI it. Can't wait for the lumbering of bureaucracy to be the visionaries.

thanks for posting this Liana.


Anonymous said...

Hi Liana,

I, too, grew up in Sydney and left it behind in my late 20's. I was disillusioned after finishing art school (SCA jewellery and object design) at the lack of "community" in the Sydney craft scene at that time and was attracted to the strong jewellery community in Melbourne. I was fortunate in that my sister had moved here a few years before me and it was easier for me to slip into some friendship circles.

I think the thing about Melbourne is that you may experience an unfriendly exterior but once inside you find that most people have amazingly strong and generous networks. I find that Melbournians want to hook you up with "someone they know who knows someone who can help you" I think that this attitude helps in building a strong art/craft/design community.

I also think that this attitude has enabled the success of so many artist run galleries and group studios.

I know that this is not an answer to the problem but next time you come to Melbourne I'd be happy to show you the friendly side.

cheers, anna

Liana said...

Hi Anna,

Oh don't get me wrong. I love Melbourne and have met a number of friendly, caring sharing Melbournians. All those connected to Craft Victoria are tops in my book. I was really exaggerating the Melbourne and Sydney thing to make a point and raise a concern I have for Brisbane arts communities.

Anyway I really need to spend some time in Melbourne next year and I'll take you up on that generous offer....

Liana said...

By the way Anna I have been telling everyone about your WALL OF PINEAPPLES, as it was the most refreshing thing I've seen online in ages. It was the perfect antidote to slick designer everything.

Liana said...

Brisbane ladies..there is a plan...