|Making money. Literally.
This story about a community movement in regional Victoria was refreshing amid the negative noise of election campaigning. A group of artists in Castlemaine, Victoria launched its own clay currency, partly an economic experiment in bartering and partly a community art project. Named the “silver wattle”, about $10,000 worth of the currency was created in two denominations from locally sourced clay, with eight businesses including a café and bakery accepting the coins. Artists Ann Ferguson, Dale Cox, and Jodi Newcombe came up with the concept inspired by the 300 or so local currencies operating throughout the world. The artists also collaborated on an exhibition and from the pictures and stories on their Facebook page, I get a sense that the project inspired a lot of conversation about the meaning of money and using art to build resilience in the community.
As it happens, I’ll be driving through Castlemaine next month, on my way to Bendigo, visiting the Emporium Creative Hub which we’ve done some business modelling for, and taking a look at this exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery all about the King. But I’ll pay for everything with legal tender. Promise.