I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning about hobbies in Australia. Through a very inexact set of percentages, it seems that a good number of Australians take part in textile crafts.
Let’s look at those numbers:
Australia’s population is about 21 or 22 million.
27% of the population over 15 years old has a hobby – about 4.7 million.
Of them, about 10% do textile crafts, jewellery making, wood crafts or paper crafts.
So what actual percentage do textile crafts? No idea! They don’t break it down. But let’s assume that it is broken up evenly, so it could be 25% of that 10% of that 27%. Mmm… that’s really clear, isn’t it?! Numerically, that works out to about 117500 Australians interested in textile crafts – maybe!
For a population so small, that’s not too bad. I wonder how many of them own a copy of one of my books?!
It also makes me think that Australian museums should be more willing to mount textile and fashion based exhibitions. Brisbane seems to have had a good run of this sort of exhibition in recent years, with an exhibition of high fashion hats and the Valentino exhibition. Canberra had the Ballets Russes exhibition at the National Gallery. I believe that each of these exhibitions exceeded projected visitor numbers.
So, galleries and museums of Australia, can we have more textile exhibitions please? Proper ones with real information like the ones mentioned above, not like the complete dearth of technical information that the Harry Potter exhibition costumes had at the Powerhouse Museum…