social unit

social unit*
2017

stainless steel, vitreous enamel, titanium

Introducing the ‘social unit’ pieces \/|- . Once again the binary sequence (rendered using enamel in different skin tones) in each neckpiece spells out the same two words, ‘social unit’. The unfurled pieces (in the image social unit *) give little hint to their original format.

These works will be on show at Facèré Jewelry Art in the exhibition Drawing the Line which opens on the 3rd of May in downtown Seattle. Come to the opening lecture from 4pm to hear me talk about these and their friends, the Body/Politic  and Drone works.

5 years

Australia and the USA from the Coat Hanger series, 2012. Recycled steel, steel, vitreous enamel.

St Patrick’s day; the middle day of 3 straight days of anniversaries, for me. From the image above I think it’s easy enough to guess what happened to me on the 17th of March 2012. My life, my work, everything changed. But, one can say that about every day that we get to share on this planet. For me, this last 5 years has been full of days like these.

Radical Jewelry Makeover

The work made for our friends over at RJM is on tour again, and right now it’s stopped in New Mexico:
Radical Jewelry Makeover Artist Project
Through February 19
form & concept
There’s a great write up at the Santa Fe Arts Journal, as well as a short and informative artist talk given by Jenn Carroll Wilson, one of the exhibition artists, over at form and concept’s website.

IMAGINE Peace Now

It feels as though it’s getting harder to imagine every day, but if you’re keen for a refresher on what’s at stake if we can’t find a way to work together, the IMAGINE show is a great start. And it’s not all doom and gloom, there’s a dark sense of humour driving several of these works. If you’re in the area please head to the newly relocated Society of Arts and Crafts at 100 Pier 4 Boulevarde, Suite 100, in Boston from 6-9pm on Thursday the 23rd of February for the opening.

This is the second stop for this exhibition, which is running for quite a time, so you have until June to see a sobering collection of metal art made from decommissioned weapons seized by the Pittsburgh Police Department. If you can’t get along, there is a pretty amazing catalogue in the works which I’m sure will be available in Boston, and I’ll post the details of where you can source it from elsewhere very soon.

in the spirit of repair…

19C Caltrop, 2015. Part of the Escalation Series.

A spot of promo for Metalsmith:

2017 Curated “Exhibition in Print” – Call for Related Work
Repair and Renewal: Making Things Whole Again
Guest Curator, Stuart Kestenbaum
Deadline: January 15

  

Besides prolonging the life of an object, repair also speaks to our yearning to make things right again, to make things whole. Repairing is more than fixing–it’s a metaphorical way to look at the role of makers. When we repair things, are we also fixing ourselves?  Can giving renewed life to objects and materials-perhaps ones that have had other functions-renew us as well?  How does the world look when we say that what is broken can be made whole again, using ingenuity and imagination?

For the 2017 “Exhibition in Print” Repair and Renewal: Making Things Whole Again, curator Stuart Kestenbaum is seeking work that addresses these questions.  While the work does not need to have been repaired, it should have the spirit of repair, and be fueled by a desire to extend an object’s value and usefulness.

Deadline is this Sunday, January 15, 2017.

Ever made something that fits this description? Then perhaps you might share it with us – it’s really simple – email some photos/links to the email address listed in the post.

Happy New Year!

jewels  jewellist

My last jewellery works for 2016 were very… striking?

There’s a few things already on the agenda for 2017, so here, in an attempt at chronological order:

  • In March I’m headed to Munich for Jewellery Week, as I got into Schmuck with The Drone work! (Full listing of participants on Klimt02) Let me know if you’re heading over so I can look out for you, eh? (Unless you already have, and tbh, you probably did…)
  • The Shared Concerns exhibition hits Bilk in Canberra in April/May
  • I’m in an exhibition called Drawing the Line at Facèré here in Seattle, also starting in April.
  • I’m curating an exhibition for the Enamelist Society conference at Arrowmont this year. Emerging enamelists beware, I’ll be getting on contact with a tight deadline very, very soon.
  • I have preliminary plans to hit Radiant Pavilion in August/September in Melbourne, where I’m hoping to bring some United States of America-ns to town with me. We’ll be opening/showing Shared Concerns at Bini.

I hope you all had joyful solstice and New Year celebrations too 😉

BAM Biennial Open House

Detail image of work My House- Tanya Lippe's Lunch Box in progress, made out of lunch box steel, stainless steel.
Detail image of work My House- Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box in progress, made out of lunch box steel, stainless steel.

I’m doing a floor talk at Bellevue Arts Museum tomorrow afternoon.

Join us for our third BAM Biennial Artist Open House featuring Metalmorphosis artists for a day of engaging talks, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.

3–4pm: Melissa Cameron

Gallery talk, Q&A

The artist is available to discuss her Biennial piece, its origin, the imagery and its connection to the commissioner, another artist in the show.

3rd Floor Gallery

IMAGINE – already open!

Resilience 'before', by Melissa Cameron. 2016
Resilience ‘before’. Melissa Cameron. 2016

I have it from a reliable source in North Carolina that this exhibition is already open. If you’re in the area, or want to get along to the official opening, get to it! Suffice to say, as one of the 94 participants, I am completely without bias when I tell you that it’s another bloody ripper of a show.

I.M.A.G.I.N.E. PEACE NOW Opens in Greenville

The Innovative Merger of Art & Guns to Inspire New Expressions, or I.M.A.G.I.N.E. PEACE NOW exhibition, includes 94 pieces of art, created by artists from 6 countries around the world, responding to the gun violence that is prevalent in American culture today. Participating artists received a dismantled pistol collected from the Pittsburgh buyback program, where the weapons were rendered inoperable, in order to transform them into (un)loaded objects of art.

The show opens at Wellington B. Gray Gallery, East Carolina University in Greenville, NC on November 21st and runs through January 16, 2017. Closing reception coincides with ECU Materials Topics symposium. The exhibition then travels to Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston.

From the ephemeral to the very corporeal

I have to share this: Zadie Smith’s latest piece for The Guardian, What Beyoncé taught me. I’d like to explain my thoughts on it, but it would be a disservice to do more than quote:

The connection between writing and dancing has been much on my mind recently: it’s a channel I want to keep open. It feels a little neglected – compared to, say, the relationship between music and prose – maybe because there is something counter-intuitive about it. But for me the two forms are close to each other: I feel dance has something to tell me about what I do.

I’ll leave you to read the rest, if you fancy.

I’ve been thinking about writing quite a bit lately, as I struggle to make my writing and my work parallel one another for a few different fora. I’ve had occasion to write both proposals for new work as well as explanatory texts for pieces (and in some cases, both, in remarkably quick succession) and it’s been interesting to look back over ‘projections’ versus ‘justifications/explanations’. In more than one piece I worried that I talked a good game, but that the work wasn’t going to live up to the rhetoric. That remained in the back of my mind over separate making processes, and probably changed the outcomes in some way that I’m not yet able to put my finger on.

Meeting my own written expectations wasn’t something that I had worried about before; first of all because I didn’t think the writing was ever veering out of it’s lane by aiming for a poetic display that I would rather the work be in charge of, and secondly because I didn’t think I had a good enough handle on writing about my work in anything but as a kind of documentation.

But the works in my most recent exhibition changed many of my ways of working, including what was written and where the work needed the writing to support it. I don’t subscribe to the idea that an accompanying text is only necessary when the work fails to do all the talking, and thanks to Ben Lignel for reminding us that the British Museum (I think it was… I can’t find the article on AJF) was using words as an interpretive tool to help democratise access to the collection (ie, make it accessible to the burgeoning middle class) back in the 1800’s.

I do and don’t want to explain my work. I want it to do well in the world and so I am prepared to give it context, but I also think, like many others, that it exists because I can’t communicate what it does in any other fashion. To me, making is a form of communication outside written and spoken language, that has its own set of symbols (alphabet) and that makes connections that are not impeded by having to find the word or the flow of words to explain itself, and that it might even navigate inside of us without engaging with the conscious (and word-forming) part of the mind. But now I have recognised that being quite a language-y person, my penchant for writing and talking (my hobbies include calligraphy, for heavens sake) could have the potential to get in the way.

I’m not sure it will, (though perhaps it already has, what a mortifying thought!) and I don’t doubt that it has happened before, but I would hate for my words to set the scene for objects that don’t/can’t deliver. On the flip side, I’m starting to realise why so many artists don’t want to talk about their work.

You have my empathy, if not my allegiance.


Replica 1989 Lapua Magnum sniper rifle cartridges in handmade Combat Paper (made by Drew Cameron from military uniforms) with surgical catgut stitching.
Uniform Shells, 2015. Replica 1989 Lapua Magnum sniper rifle cartridges in handmade Combat Paper (made by Drew Cameron from military uniforms) with surgical catgut stitching.

To get down to earth again for a bit, I want to put this out there: Combat Paper needs a new van.

Drew F Cameron (no relation, really, there’s a few more Camerons here than there were back home, I even met one on the phone last week…) is an ex US service-person, and he makes paper all over the US, with, among others, other ex-military personnel, out of their old uniforms.  He kindly gifted me with some of the offcuts of his toil last year, and I used them to make art about war and its effects on the body – the body politic specifically –  as in us, and all of humanity.

Suffice to say, his cause has my heart, and his need for a van (since his last one was recently stolen) has rallied the rest of my body to the cause. If you can help out, please do. I can vouch for the work that he does, and I hope to be able to meet him one day and tell him as much. And maybe even make some paper.