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The Wasawasa Festival of Arts is a good time to share information and keep regional crafts alive.

World Craft Council representative Dr Kevin Murray says the Wasawasa Festival of Arts is a very exciting time to look at the possibility of sharing information and keeping craft up to date.

Murray who conducted a two-day Pacific Craft Network Workshop at the Wasawasa Village said that Fiji had played an important role as a leader in craft in the Pacific and it would be in its interest to reassert its role as a leader in craft development, promotion and exhibition.

This workshop looks into craft development its how people can develop their work so it can reach a broader market right to international market and it is particularly looking at a trend, Murray said.

International buyers are interested in buying products that they know is doing well in the world so its how a customer sees the products. Im happy and excited to be part of this festival and also to share information and look at changes faced in the development of art.

Dr. Kevin says that his workshop will begin with familiarizing himself with Pacific craft and trying to get his information through to Pacific artists.

I think its about reconnecting with the tradition that people of the Pacific have. Pacific people are known for their culture, hospitality and for making people feel welcome. The idea of bringing culture to the process of making craft would be the best way to get my message across.

Making a little gift, working with flowers and other parts of nature will gain a lot of interest. Its really not about anything new; its all about making souvenir or something that relays a powerful message of good felling or fellowship.

Murray was amazed at the potential of Pacific artists and said the workshop was divided into different target topics.

I think the potential of Pacific artists is amazing particularly the traditional skills and the culture and also the opportunity to connect the craft more closely with the culture in story telling or even songs and dance because they are all part of the same culture.

The first segment of the workshop covers new trends particularly in trying to get the interest of customers. The second segment focuses on the structure of the supply chain like getting your product from your village to the ship and to a customer in another country.

The workshop also looks at issues such as a fair trade, small loans or business development and also quarantine.

Murray said he would always cherish the memory of his first time in Fiji as the people were very friendly and relaxed....





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