Our Team

In January 2019 we took the seed of an idea and formed a partnership to grow it.

We came together with the aim of showcasing the ingenuity of ‘craft’ practitioners, and the cultural importance of ‘craft’ for people around the Indian Ocean.

Our partnership comprises arts leaders, curators and arts managers, designers and entrepreneurs.
We are supported by the leadership and professional expertise of the teams at both John Curtin Gallery and Fremantle Arts Centre.

Jude van der Merwe

Jude is a curator, arts adviser and (former) textile artist. From 2004-12 she was Executive Director of Artsource, the peak membership body for visual artists in WA. She has worked in arts management for over 20 years developing arts projects in Australia, the UAE, Qatar, and Singapore.

Maggie Baxter

Maggie is a textile artist, writer, independent curator and public art coordinator. She first visited India in 1990 and maintains a textile arts practice there.  Her book ’Unfolding: Contemporary Indian Textiles’, published by Niyogi Books, new Delhi in 2015 was the first written on this subject.

Dr Qassim Saad

Qassim is an academic and Senior Lecturer in the School of the Built Environment and Design, Curtin University. His research embraces social innovation at the margins, articulating creative design practices as strategic tools to improve the social and economic standing of  artisans in developing countries.

Listen to Global Humanities Podcast interview with Dr Qassim Saad.

Carola Akindele-Obe

Carola is an independent arts manager and business writer with over 25 years experience organising and marketing visual arts and crafts events. In 2017 Carola set up a partnership ‘Maker and Smith’ to enhance the craft sector in WA through  an annual program of international films and workshops.

Visit Maker&Smith.

Chad Creighton

Chad is CEO of the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of Western Australia (AACHWA). He has worked on Cultural heritage  projects for the Kimberley Land Council and was Associate Curator of Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. He currently sits on the WA Museum Aboriginal Advisory Committee.


Gerald Sanyangore

Gerald is an independent  visual arts producer, curator and exhibition organiser. With a special interest in African art, Gerald was curator and project lead for The Another Antipodes project, a platform for visual arts exchange focussed on links between contemporary African  and Australian art practices. Most recently founder of MELBICAA.

Visit Melbicaa Instagram.