Established by Craft Victoria in 2015, the Victorian Craft Awards is a biennial event presenting and celebrating excellence in contemporary craft practice. The Awards showcase exceptional works utilising craft skills, processes and materials and include emerging, mid-career and established craftspeople from across Victoria.  

The Awards Recipients

$10,000 | The Lynne Kosky Award for Contemporary Jewellery

Honouring the legacy of Victorian Government Minister and longstanding patron and advocate of the arts, Lynne Kosky. Supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.
Art Form: Contemporary jewellery; open to all career stages. 

Awarded to Blanche Tilden
Through the Lens series, 2021

┬®-H_Trumble-Craft_Awards_03 (1).jpg
Blanche TIlden, Through the Lens series, 2021.

Through the Lens 04
Salvaged glass camera lens components, flameworked borosilicate glass, anodised titanium, oxidised 925 silver,
rare earth magnets
185 mm diameter

Through the Lens 01
Salvaged and coldworked ophthalmological glass lenses, oxidised 925 silver
250 mm diameter

The Through the Lens series reflects on contemporary material culture through the examination of glass as fundamental to everyday life. By repurposing glass lenses from obsolete objects such as spectacles and cameras, new meaning and value are attributed to what is already here, hiding in plain sight.

Blanche Tilden has maintained a vibrant practice for over 25 years, forging an international reputation in the fields of contemporary jewellery and studio glass. In distinctive combinations of glass and metal, her unique visual and material vocabulary communicates ideas of value and creates meaning.

$5,000 | The Excellence Award

Recognising the highest achievement in creativity, innovation and design. Supported by the Bowness Family Foundation.
Art Form: All; open to all career stages.

Awarded to Damien Wright and Bonhula Yunupingu
Rom’mirri (Keeper of the Law), 2021

Damien Wright and Bonhula Yunupingu.png
Damien Wright and Bonhula Yunupingu, Bala ga Lili Rom’mirri (Keeper of the Law), 2021.

Bala ga Lili Rom’mirri (Keeper of the Law)
Gadayka, 10,000-year-old Ancient Red Gum, copper wire
3000 x 1000 x 1500 mm

Rom’mirri (Keeper of the Law) is a light. His light is from within. His power shows us the way. It’s all about balance and being level-level, Ma.

Bala ga lili (Two ways Learning) is an ongoing, circular cross cultural collaboration between Damien Wright of Melbourne and Bonhula Yunupingu, a Yolngu man of North East Arhnem Land. Wright and Yunupingu first met in 2010 when Wright was invited by Gumatj elder Galarrwuy Yunupigu to establish a furniture craft studio in his homeland community of Gunyangara.

Today, Wright and Yunupingu work together to find a sculptural and poetic language. They tell a disruptive narrative: theirs is a disruptive relationship. What should look like a contradiction is a promise. What should keep one apart, draws us together. Wright and Yunupingu are represented by Gallery Sally Dan Cuthbert.

$2,500 | Jewellery Encouragement Award

Supported by the Williamson and Kosky families.
Art Form: Contemporary jewellery; open to emerging makers.

Awarded to Jo Hawley
Home I, II and III, 2021

CRAFT_VIC_AWARDS_221142-web res.jpg
Jo Hawley, Home I, II & III (detail), 2021.

Home I, II & III
Sterling silver
Home I (Brooch) - 108 x 20 x 11 mm
Home II (Brooch) - 114 x 27 x 12 mm
Home III (Pendant) - 100 x 62 x 10 mm
plus chain

Home I, II & III is a personal story about place. It’s about ‘being’ from one place and growing up in another. About seeing the place you’re in through the lens of another. About the layers within. About never belonging anywhere. Although much of my work is abstract the shapes have also always represented physical spaces for me. I have lived in Australia for over 20 years but my work is informed largely by my life before here, by the landscapes and built environments, hoping to convey the feeling of place that the pieces evoke.”

Jo Hawley is a British contemporary jeweller brought up in New Zealand and now based in Melbourne. Hawley manipulates form, line and surface to create playful interactions between light and the materials in her works. Inspired by sculpture, architecture and landscape, Hawley takes a subtle approach to her designs, allowing shapes and forms to speak for themselves.

$2,500 | The Jardan Craft Award

Celebrating inspirational design and craftsmanship. Supported by Jardan. This Award will also provide an opportunity to collaborate with the Jardan design team.
Art Form: All; open to all career stages.

Awarded to Jessie French
Atoll bioplastic algae series, 2021

Jessie French.png
Jessie French, Atoll bioplastic algae series, 2021.

Atoll bioplastic algae series
Algal polymer derived from macroalgae: Geldium sesquipedale [agar], vegetable glycerine, gelatin
Dimensions variable

This body of work is made in response to the deep environmental crisis surrounding us. Geopolitical infrastructure and inaction present significant challenges to everyday sustainable lifestyles. The bioplastic algae tableware series proposes a bottom-up solution that can be implemented within the home, and showcases the potential for algae as a sustainable material within contemporary art, craft and design.

Jessie French is an artist and designer based in Naarm/Melbourne. She specialises in working with algae based polymers to produce algae-based bioplastics containing only organic, renewable ingredients. Her practice invites others to engage with the possibilities of a post-petrochemical world and through experimenting with other materials, she explores the potential of closed-loop systems of (re)use and conscious consumption and interaction with objects. French is represented by Anaïs Lellouche, London.

$1,000 | The Ceramics Award 

Supported by The Newman Family.
Art Form: Ceramics; open to all career stages.

Awarded to Prue Venables
Stemmed Bowl and Sieve, 2021

CRAFT_VIC_AWARDS_221143-web res.jpg
Prue Venables, Stemmed Bowl and Sieve (detail), 2021.

Stemmed Bowl and Sieve
Limoges porcelain, silver
Bowl: 150 x 240 x 175 mm
Sieve: 360 x 140 x 80 mm

“I play with ideas of function, of the quirky, inventive possibilities of objects that might perchance be used or just bring into focus the others that almost invisibly fill our daily lives. Spatial relationships between and amongst enact notions of poetry, music and mood.”

Prue Venables is a celebrated Australian ceramicist known for her sophisticated functional pottery in high fired porcelain - hand thrown and constructed but with invisible joins. With decades experience working in ceramics and exploring industrial firing methods, she creates challenging and risky objects that appear simple and indifferent to their complex origins. Venables is recipient of the Australian Design Centre’s Living Treasure, Master of Australian Craft Award. Venables is represented by Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney, and Beaver Galleries, Canberra.

$1,000 | Encouragement Award

Supported by The Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society (Yarra).
Art Form: All; open to emerging makers.

Awarded to Beverley Meldrum
Kelp Necklace, 2020

CRAFT_VIC_AWARDS_221145-web res.jpg
Beverley Meldrum, Kelp Necklace (detail), 2021.

Kelp Necklace
Kelp, ghostnet, handmade brass chain
200 x 300 x 300 mm

This work draws on our connections between land and water. The chain represents the froth of the waves, the kelp and the ghostnet are washed upon the sand.

Beverley Meldrum is a multidisciplinary artist and descendant of the Wirangu/ Kokatha Peoples of South Australia, currently living and working on Boon Wurrung Country. Inspired by a feeling of spiritual kinship with the ocean, Meldrum engages a wide variety of mediums including ceramics, timber, stone and kelp to create her works.

$1,000 | People’s Choice Award

Supported by Craft Victoria.
Art Form: All; open to all career stages.

Awarded to Sophia Cai
Safety Yellow Woman, 2020-2021

Sophia Cai.png
Sophia Cai, Safety Yellow Woman, 2020-2021.

Safety Yellow Woman
Dimensions variable

Safety Yellow Woman was a project that began following Melbourne’s extended lockdown in 2020. The handknitted garment is a response to the social anxiety and isolation experienced during the year, and visibly gives form to the practice of social distancing through the lengthened sweater sleeves. The yarn in this piece was provided by Fancy Tiger Crafts.

Sophia Cai is a curator, writer and knitter based in Narrm/Melbourne. Through her practice, Cai explores her interests in Asian art history, the intersection between contemporary art and craft, as well as feminist methodologies and community-based practices

The Finalists

Adam Markowitz & Oliver Tanner, Alexsandra Pontonio, Amanda Ho, Ana Petidis, Anke Kindle, Anna Davern, Anton Gerner, Australian Tapestry Workshop & Troy Emery, Beverley Meldrum, Blanche Tilden, Cara Johnson, Cassie Leatham, Christopher Plumridge, Damien Wright & Bonhula Yunupingu, Danielle Thiris, Darren Healey, Ema Shin, Grace Brown, Holly Grace. Iluka Sax-Williams, James Lemon, Jane Sawyer, Jenna Lee, Jennifer Conroy-Smith, Jessie French, Jin Ah Jo, Jo Hawley, Juanita Mulholland, Katherine Hubble, Katrina Tyler, Kirby Bourke (Two Lines Studio), Kirsten Haydon, Kristin Burgham, Lindy McSwan, Lisa Waup, Liv Boyle, Louise Meuwissen & Ebony Russell, Marcos Guzman, Mechelle Shooter, Michaela Pegum, Michelle Stewart, Narelle White, Nicole Polentas, Prue Venables, Roseanne Bartley, Samuel Burns, Sara Lindsay, Shimara Carlow, Sophia Cai, Thomas Lentini, Timothy Gresham, Timothy White, Vicki Mason, Yi Jen Chu, Zhu Ohmu.

The Selection Panel

The Judging Panel

Supported by