Our Team

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.

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

We are supported by the exhibition expertise of the teams at both Fremantle Arts Centre and John Curtin Gallery.

Jude van der Merwe

Jude van der Merwe has over 25 years’ experience in the cultural and visual arts sectors and is an independent senior consultant specialising in cultural development, curatorial work, arts and culture policy and strategy and Public Art development and implementation.

She is current President of the World Crafts Council Australia; Senior Vice President of the World Crafts Council Asia Pacific Region and member of the Advisory Board Curtin School of Design and the Built Environment. Past board experience includes inaugural board member and Company Secretary of the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA.

Maggie Baxter

Maggie Baxter is a textile artist, writer, independent curator, and public art coordinator. She first visited India in 1990 and maintains a textile arts practice in Kutch, Gujarat state.

Her book Unfolding: Contemporary Indian Textiles, which was the first book written on contemporary Indian textiles, was published by Niyogi Books, New Delhi in April 2015. The highly successful exhibition of the same name was held at the RMIT Gallery in Melbourne from March – May 2015 and at the Fremantle Arts Centre from July – September 2015. In 2003 she was the curator of ‘Threads of Life: Textiles from India’ for Global Arts Link in Queensland. As an artist she has exhibited regularly since 1984 in both group and solo exhibitions in Australia, India, Japan and UK.

Carola Akindele-Obe

Carola Akindele-Obe is an independent arts manager and writer with over 25 years’ experience coordinating visual arts and crafts events in Australia, UK and Taiwan. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, with a BA(Hons) Design in Embroidered and Woven Textiles, City & Guilds in Basketry/3D Woven Design, and Master of Arts Admin from UNSW, Sydney.

Carola has a depth of experience as a project manager for recurrent events including Biennale of Sydney (1998-2002), Sydney Art on Paper Fair (2001-2005), and Artopia WA (2005-2007). Carola is a co-founder of ‘Maker&Smith’ presenting skills exchange and promotion opportunities, including a short film festival, to enhance the craft sector in Western Australia.

Dr Qassim Saad

Qassim Saad is an Iraqi industrial designer living in exile since 1991, holding a BA, MA and PhD in Industrial Design. He has taught design and been assigned for academic leadership roles since 1984 in Iraq, Jordan, New Zealand, Egypt, Germany, and recently in Australia. Qassim’s understanding of design is providing the stimulus for future- looking, dynamic approaches to innovation, building on its nature as inter-disciplinary and applied knowledge culminated by creative practices.

Dr. Saad’s research embraces creative practice outputs and traditional scholarly publications related to design and social innovation ‘outside the centre.’ His aim is to articulate future scope to empower societies, in developing countries, particularly achieving a better quality of life, through applying design methods and practices, as strategic tools, to facilitate their social systems mega problems. ORCID: 0000-0002-5641-9957

Gerald Sanyangore

Gerald Sanyangore is an independent visual arts producer, curator and exhibition organiser. He holds a BA(Hons) Economics and Mathematics from the University of Liverpool (UK), and a First Class Honours in Psychology and Graduate Certificate of Business (Arts and Cultural Management) from Deakin University.

Gerald produced and curated Another Antipodes Urban Axis exhibition and its complementary BREACH African Film Program, the largest international exhibition focusing on contemporary African art and film ever held in Australia (2017). His curatorial work reveals alternative ways of viewing shared experiences, untangling complex histories and diverse narratives across cultures.

Chad Creighton

Curatorial Advisor

Dr Anne Farren

Fashion Co-Curator

Festival, Conference, Marketing & Program Support

Kelsey Douglas, Lola Faulkner, Jo Malone, Mary-Louise Carbone
Jenny Haynes & Narelle Doran, Mundaring Arts Centre


Isabel Kruger (brand and catalogue), Orla Larkin (website and digital), Christopher Young (graphic design)

Editors and Proof-readers

Kevin Murray, Heli Donaldson


Dixie Battersby

Fremantle Arts Centre

Anna Reece, Jim Cathcart and Ric Spencer (until December 2020), Erin Coates (until July 2021), Tom Freeman, Glenn Iseger-Pilkington and Jane Chambers (from May 2021), Claudia Rayne, Andrea Woods, Rosamund Brennan; and Kathryn Taylor (City of Fremantle); and the installation team.

John Curtin Gallery

Chris Malcolm, Jane King, Jann Thompson, Jacqui Monks, Samantha Smith, Sue-Lyn Moyle, Brad Coleman; and the installation team.