Bluestone Art Collection – new to RMIT

RMIT recently took ownership of the Bluestone Collection of contemporary craft.

The Bluestone Collection was started 10 years ago by a group of craft supporters, who privately funded the purchases with the aim of building a collection that promotes current Australian craft exhibition practice and fosters critical dialogue.

The acquisition of the Bluestone Collection is a significant one for RMIT and acknowledges the University’s strong and longstanding commitment to teaching and researching craft practice.

(left to right) Bin Dixon-Ward and Robyn Phelan with works from the Bluestone Collection.


Alumnus Robyn Phelan,  a founding member of the Bluestone Collection, said it was always the intention to donate the collection of ambitious works to an institution once it reached maturity.

Robyn teaches in the School of Art at RMIT, has a well-respected practice in ceramics and longstanding professional life in many of Melbourne’s museums and galleries.

Bluestone Collection Director Bin Dixson-Ward is an award-winning artist and graduate of RMIT Gold and Silversmithing. Describing herself as a digital craftsperson, Bin develops her ideas into objects using the tools of 3D modelling software and 3D printing.

“The members of the Bluestone Collection are delighted to see the works from our first 10 years of collecting find a permanent at home at RMIT University,” she said.

“RMIT’s strong and longstanding commitment to teaching and researching craft practice is reflected in the collection, with 13 of the collected artists being alumni and several currently teaching at RMIT.”

As well as designers, makers and curators, members of the Bluestone Collection include teachers, lawyers, writers and historians committed to fostering the innovation and exhibition of contemporary craft in Victoria and throughout Australia.

Bin joined the Bluestone Collection five years ago, attracted to the idea that ordinary people with a vision and modest financial contributions can make a big difference when it comes to supporting the arts.

She said the donation of the Bluestone Collection to RMIT offers the opportunity for future students, researchers and the wider arts community to have access to the 21 pieces of craft, including, ceramics, textiles, metalwork and contemporary jewellery.

“We believe that as makers and members of the craft community, we must actively engage with the arts, discover and build connections among object makers, and be an active part of our cultural history,” she said.

Main image: Nick Bastin, Round Container with Mountain and Colour, 2010-12. Photo: Christopher Sanders

View the Bluestone Collection online 

Story by Evelyn Tsitas


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