Monday – gun day

In a not-so-happy coincidence, on the same day that many of us found out about the latest mass killing in the USA, I received the cheque for the sale of my Gun work to the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

So here’s a little about work, for which I began the research in December 2012, and finally finished the last part of about a year later, in early 2014.

Gun (2013/2014) consists of:
154 @ 30 rpm – scale 1:4
60m
(scale 1:4)
AR-15 (bandolier)

The work Gun (a suite of three wearable pieces) is from the Escalation series. The works in Escalation are each made from domestic objects, taken out of their usual context and transformed into loaded jewels. Together the complete series reflects thousands of years of human history, the history we have of making weapons of war. The works (there is at least two wearable items for each ‘piece’) are loosely grouped into branches, based on the proximity to which the assailant would have to have to the victim (and vice versa) when used, which makes the whole Escalation project into a kind of family tree of tools for killing.

The Gun work is the Sword’s companion on one branch, as I see the gun as the successor to the sword in close combat situations. Rifles were the earliest effective firearms, so it was not a huge leap to use the Bushmaster XM15-E2S as my gun archetype. Sold as a hunting rifle in the USA, it is “a variant of the AR-15 first built by ArmaLite,”[i] “as an assault rifle for the United States armed forces.” (also known as the M16)[ii]. This Bushmaster is the weapon that was used for the Newtown massacre in 2012. If you see the whole series together, it becomes more obvious that this piece is the only one in my Escalation series that does not focus the wartime outcomes of a particular weapon. In making this exception, I wanted to make the point that these military grade weapons are available far too easily to the citizens of the US, and thus are in the homes and lives of ordinary people, which results in the premature deaths of this country’s most vulnerable citizens.

I made this piece from a strangely long and slightly medical-looking tray I bought new, at Daiso. I gave it 30 full-sized NATO shells (I chose there to depict the military round rather than the hunting round made by Remington), as 30 is the magazine’s capacity. I made 77 holes in the tray in the unfired bullet diameter, and strung the 77 cutouts on steel cable, which together add up to the 154 bullets expended within the school. The gun is made at 1:4 scale, making it very obvious to wear and more realistic than the miniature gun bling that is occasionally in fashion. The neckpiece with the 77 cutouts is 15m/40′ long, to represent, again at 1:4 scale (full scale being at least 60m/197′) the minimum distance that the shooter would have traversed inside of the school. I read the police report and literally plotted the shooter’s movements onto a floor plan of the school that I found online, to calculate the approximate length.

Finally, in all the pictures that accompany this series, I am wearing the works. They are photos I took of myself, by myself, and when these works are shown, they were a part of the display. It is important that the works, and the troubling histories that they represent, are on me. Like they are on all of humanity. And I for one am not at all happy about it.

[i] ‘AR-15’. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, 26 April 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=AR-15&oldid=551188045.

[ii] Ibid.

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Speaking Out Exhibition – opens Wednesday

Speaking Out: Art & Politics in Words
September 27, 2017 – November 10, 2017
Openings: 1-3pm and 5-7pm on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Speaking Out highlights artists who use words as the basis of their work, creating pieces that inspire discussion around topics of political and social justice. What are the words necessary to start the discussion or argument, to pull people together or apart? How can language be used to share, to trivialize or to provoke? Can a word help you to see what it is like in the shoes of another? And how can a word of indifference end a discussion? We hope that you will see the work in the gallery as a starting place for conversation around topics that are highlighted in current events and contemporary activism.

Participating Artists:
Antonius Bui
Melissa Cameron
Satpreet Kahlon
Deborah Faye Lawrence
Holly Martz
Hanako O’Leary
Spooky Boobs Collective
Chris Walla
Matthew Whitney

Please come meet us at the second opening on Wednesday!

Enamel Class – September

Coat hanger experiments, 2012. Steel, vitreous enamel, silver solder

The Center for Enamel Art in California has invited me to lead one of their Radical Enameling workshops, so I’m headed to The Crucible in Oakland from the 6th – 8th of September for:

Enameling Recycled Steel for Jewelry and Objects – a workshop with Melissa Cameron

Got a hankering to try out some experimental enameling? Join us to find out how straightforward and un-fussy enameling can be. We’re going to work on all types of steel – including that which we find on the street – to make beautifully enamelled jewels and objects, with the addition of porcelain enamel that will be applied in its liquid form.

I always look forward to these classes because of the way people surprise themselves when confronted with a medium that can be used in such diverse ways; behaving like watercolor, spray paint or even sand. Its versatility enables each maker to leverage their mastery in traditional materials – say even pencil and markers – and then make permanent the results by literally baking them on.

And hey, it’s in “beautiful, downtown Oakland, California!”

(Thanks to Roman Mars of the 99% Invisible podcast for being the indelible voice in my head for that line 😉 )

Forces now on in Sydney!

Forces –  10.5.17 – 27.5.17

Fluidity and strength in contemporary jewellery and object practice using steel – the dirty metal
Closing drinks and Artists Talk on Saturday 27th May 2-4pm

An exhibition of contemporary steel art by a selected range of jewellery and object makers, curated by Melbourne artist Sarah Heyward.

The use of steel in contemporary jewellery and object practice is intriguing.  Whilst traditionally used for manufacturing purposes, steel is seductive with a beautiful luster and sheen. Investigations into industrial landscapes, enamel on steel, heat treatment methods, and the repurposed object are all areas in which notable makers have been exploring and engaging with this material within their practice.

“This exhibition explores themes around fluidity and strength in our everyday lives. The push Melisse-Cameron-necklace-neckpeice-forcesand pull of our environment, both in the natural world and political sphere, the forces, which make us feel both fragile and insignificant but also powerful and resilient. At a time where we face potential environmental catastrophes, nature – in which many artists find inspiration – reminds us how merciless the earth’s forces can be. This exhibition hopes to act as a celebration of steel as a material and also the investigations we undertake to make the material speak.” – Sarah Heyward

On Saturday 27th May there will be an Artist Talk accompanied with celebratory drinks from 2-4pm. The artists speaking are Sarah Heyward, Susan Buchanan, and Lindy McSwan; all welcome.

Artists participating: Sarah Heyward, Jin ah Jo, Lindy McSwan, Melissa Cameron, Alicia Carriero, and Susan Buchanan, Inari Kiuru.

Check out the show here:

Studio 20/17 Project Space
53 Ridge Street, North Sydney
Open: 11 – 5 Tues – Sat
+61 411 808 274

or the rest of the images of work on the Studio 20/17 website. It’s a beauty, and I really wish I could be there for the talks, I want to know how the brains work on all three of the attending artists.

Drawing the Line @ Facèré in Seattle

“Attempts to kill…” 2016

I’m really pleased to share the Drone works (half of which is in the image above) will be showing alongside the the Drawing the Line exhibition at Facèré Jewelry Art when it opens this Wednesday, May 3rd, in downtown Seattle. Come to the opening lecture from 4pm to hear me talk about the works in the show – the new additions to the Body/Politic series, and their progenitor, the Drone series.

May 3, 2017 – May 23, 2017
Lecture: Wednesday, May 3 at 4:00 PM
Reception: Wednesday, May 3 at 5:00 PM

SMG and the Wawona

Wawona – Pixel by pixel, 2017. Wawona wood, titanium, stainless steel

Launched in 1897, the Wawona was the largest three-masted sailing schooner ever built in North America. The ship was used to haul lumber up and down the Pacific Coast and used in the Bering Sea codfishing trade. In 1970 the Wawona became a National Historic Site and she was the first ship in the nation to be listed on the National Register. In 2009 she was deemed too expensive to restore and was demolished.

Come and see what the Seattle Metals Guild have done with the pieces of the ship that were not made into the huge sculpture by John Grade at MOHAI (that’s the Museum of History and Industry for all y’all not in the PNW [Pacific North West – and yes, I did that one to be facetious 😉 .])

The exhibition opens at Northwind Arts Center May 6 – 5:30 pm

701 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA
Thursday – Monday, 11:30am-5:30pm
Tuesday – Wednesday, Noon-5pm
360-379-1086

May 4 – 29 | Opening and closing dates
May 6 – 5:30 pm – Opening Reception and Art Walk
May 7 – 1:00 pm – Art Talk
See Klimt02 for more teaser images, and the Northwind Arts Center page for extra info.

Vote for more IMAGINE Peace Now

Boris Bally must not sleep.

Do you like what we are doing with the I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now exhibition?  If so, we could really use your help.

This national competition opens for voting today and is a chance for us to support the exhibition’s travel to Southern Indiana and Southern Kentucky and to include vital community programming aimed at the gun violence epidemic in this region.

Vote here. Vote often

(you can vote daily til May 12 – that’s the 13th of May in Aus!)

My work from the exhibition will (hopefully!) be heading along with the touring show, so if you are in Indiana or Kentucky and you want to see it, please vote 😉 And for those of you who will vote but won’t get to the US, here’s a video I made of the making process:

#PlateGlassExhibition

works by Danielle Embry, Sharon Massey, Kat Cole, Nicolette Absil and Laura Eales

The adequately-oiled machine that is my studio practice has had some time out from being even that reliable of late (for many reasons, a great one being fixing the moisture problem that normally creates a less-than ornamental pond in my studio over the winter months,) so right now I’m busy finishing works and preparing images for two upcoming exhibitions that begin in early May – from the 3rd there’s a group show called Drawing the Line at Facere Art Jewelry in downtown Seattle and then opening on the 4th there’s Seattle Metals Guild and the Wawona –  at Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend.

It’s too early for image spoilers on those (as in, I’ve not taken them yet..!), but if you are keen to get a fix of new works, check out the hashtag #PlateGlassExhibition on Instagram, for a bunch of new works in development by the 29 invited artists of the Plate Glass exhibition. This is the one that I’m curating for the Enamellist Society and will be shown during their biennial conference, this year in Gatlinburg, Tennessee at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in August, from the 2nd – 9th.

Several of the artists are new to the format of the plate, though needless to say I think they’re all doing an amazing job, and I truly cannot wait to reveal every single one of them to y’all in August. Until then we’re all lucky to have these images to marvel at and ponder over.

BAM Biennial – last days

If you’re keen but haven’t yet made it out to see the Bellevue Arts Museum Biennial Metalmorphosis exhibition, the hourglass is telling me that there’s very few grains of sand left in the top bulb, so you’d better get along. The last day is Sunday the 5th of February. To tempt you – this is a short video of my work My House – Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box in progress.

Yup, that’s me, breaking a saw blade. The abrupt ending (to the video) is a good analogue of how I felt every time I broke one, and it happened a lot that day…

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.