Traditional Cambodian art will headline this year’s Tasmanian Craft Fair at Deloraine.
Four members of the Artisans Angkor company will be conducting a working display using stone pieces depicting the head of Jayavarman VII and the elephant building from AngkorWat.
There will also be a display of lacquered panels and containers, silver plated boxes, home furnishings, sandstone and wooden carvings, as well as scarves, bags and accessories made from their own silk farm in Cambodia.
The group was invited to participate in the event by craft fair director Lesley Dare, who travelled to Cambodia to ask whether they would be interested in coming to Tasmania.
She said she had acted on a strong recommendation from a member of her family.
“Our daughter visited Artisans Angkor while on holidays in Cambodia two and a half years ago,” she said.
“After seeing all the fabulous work they were doing, she contacted me and said I had to include them in the fair.
“We went over to meet them and were very impressed.”
Started in Angkor toward the end of 1990s, Artisans Angkor was designed to help young rural people find work near their home village.
The Artisans are devoted to maintaining arts and crafts in Cambodia, with all their products handmade in traditional Cambodian workshops by craftsmen and women who have learned their ancestor’s craftsmanship skills.
The designs are always deeply related to Cambodian culture, often making use of traditional symbols, patterns and landscapes.
Ms Dare said having artists from the company in Tasmania was a coup for the craft fair.
“We thought it would make a really good main feature for the fair,” she said.
“None them had been to Tasmania before, and one of them hadn’t even been outside of Cambodia.”