Bilk Solstice open hours + a Brooch for Tom

Solstice celebrations
Friday 3 December and Saturday 4 December 4.00pm – 7.00pm.


Please join us at dusk for a celebration and viewing of our fabulous Solstice exhibition together with light refreshments. With a little luck the late afternoon celebrations will bring a sunset reflecting in the dams. 

For those unable to visit us at Bilk Gallery, the complete new collection is available on-line: www.bilk.com.au/solstice 

Gallery Hours:  Friday and Saturday 11.00 am to 5.00 pm or by appointment until Saturday 18 December  2021. Please contact us to make an appointment by either calling 0433694669 or 02 62329411.

Directions: 403 Captains Flat Road Carwoola – 4 km from the roundabout. Prepare to turn left after the second 90 km sign. There is an electric gate with a big B for Bilk. Press the button to open the gate and follow the directions at the top of the driveway for the gallery. The gallery is located on the right of the building.

Bilk Gallery

My new works include this piece, made from street sweeper blades I have collected around the City of Perth and suburbs.

Brooch for Tom

Tom Cameron was my grandfather. After training as a pilot in Canada the 40’s he came back to Perth and took a job as a street sweeper. From tending to the streets he ended up making them with his earth moving business, and helping to change how people saw them with his work with the Lions Eye Institute. He eventually had a small park named after him in the suburbs, for his charitable works.

Brooch for Tom. Street sweeper blades, titanium, mild steel, stainless steel. 2021

Brooch for Tom (reverse). Street sweeper blades, titanium, mild steel, stainless steel. 2021. 300mm x 60mm x 6mm

farewell studio (for now) sale

Dear Friends,

For those not in the know, the current configuration of my studio is soon to be disassembled and rebuilt. A new studio, part of our new and more sustainable home, will take its place over the coming year or so.

If you have ever wanted to come up and see it for yourself (in better resolution than what was on the studio livestream earlier this year) now is your last opportunity!

And of course I’ll also have a range of my works on display 😉

Join me in December on:

Friday the 10th, 11am – 5pm
Saturday the 11th, 11am – 5pm – also our Christmas celebration with bubbles and nibbles!
Friday the 17th, 11am – 5pm
Saturday the 18th, 11am – 5pm

and other times between these by appointment.

Please feel free to pass on this invitation to friends and loved ones. I look forward to seeing you soon.

x Melissa

(please email for the address, fellow Perthlings)

Solstice exhibition

Image collection:
Vicki Mason, Winter Wattle Brooch, powder coated brass, linen, cotton, fabric pen. 60 x 30  mm
Melissa Cameron, Sunset Study Necklace, found steel tyre ring, vitreous enamel. 2mm diameter chain, 400mm diameter circle.
Zachery Lechtenberg, Cluster Brooch 1, copper, Silver, Steel, enamel. 50 x 10 mm
Mio Kuhnen, Fritillary Butterfly Brooch, Champlevé enamel, copper, stainless steel. 38 x 43 x 18 mm
Claire McArdle, Small Tools for Change (Swift Parrots), 2021. Recycled red ironbark (Eucalyptus tricarpa), car exhaust, leather cord. 155 x 40 x3 5mm 

Solstice – celebration marking the beginning of summer and the new year coming.

Opened last Saturday, 13 November 2021

Aurélie Guillaume, Bic Tieu, Claire McArdle, Carlier Makigawa, Daniel DiCaprio, David Walker, Eugenie Keefer Bell, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Johannes Kuhnen, Julie Blyfield, Kath Inglis, Marian Hosking, Mio Kuhnen, Melissa Cameron, Sean O’Connell, Vicki Mason and Zachery Lechtenberg.

This year we wanted to mark the end of the year by celebrating the beginning of summer and a new year coming. Through winter we have been looking forward to when shadows become shorter and warm days linger. This year has been a hard road for many of us and we wanted to focus on the positive and look towards the renewal of the new year coming through the summer solstice. 

For this exhibition there are new collections of works by many of our artists and a few new artists to join us at Bilk.  We look forward to showing these new collections to you as well as celebrating the summer solstice.​

For those unable to visit us at Bilk Gallery, the complete new collection is available on-line.​

Gallery Hours:  Friday and Saturday 11.00 am to 5.00 pm or by appointment until Saturday 18 December 2021. To view the collection of Artists at Bilk Gallery, please make a private appointment by contacting us via email gallery@bilk.com.au or telephone: 0433694669.

Juukan Tears – last days to see!

a 2-min snapshot of making Juukan Tears

There is but a few short days left to see my work Juukan Tears at the John Curtin Gallery as a part of IOTA21 in Curiosity and Rituals of the Everyday. If you’re not gonna make it (who even travels any more? I can’t – really, I’m in WA and state daddy says no…) I thought I’d show you what people who visit the gallery get to see on a big screen in the video rotation.

If you haven’t seen it but were planning to, the gallery is open today until Friday, and again for the last time on Sunday 31/10/21.

Connexions closes tomorrow

Connexions opening – l to r
Blandine Halle, Melissa Cameron, Katherine Kalaf, Fatemeh Boroujeni, Eden Lennox, Sultana Shamshi.
Missing but hopefully soon to visit – Emily Beckley. Image – Courtenay Cameron

Connexions is in its last days – today it’s open 11am – 4:30pm and then it opens for the last time tomorrow from 12 -2:30pm.

We will always have the website, and I will update that with images from the installation soon, but in the mean time, if you can, stop by the gallery, grab a catalogue (lovingly folded for you by our team of artists!) and see all the new works that were made for this iteration of our exhibition.

Big thanks to Katherine Kalaf, as seen pictured above, for elevating our opening with her presence.

Thank you again to everyone who has visited and purchased works, we appreciate all of your support. In such strange times we are grateful, very grateful, to have your feet grace our doorstep.

Media whore

Two interviews doesn’t really live up to the title, but I _had_ to!

As of 9:05 am today, I’m doing two media appearances in the coming days. Tomorrow I’m scheduled to be on RTRFM radio at around 10:30am (AWST), on the Artbeat program with Bec Bowman. I’ll be talking about my work Juukan Tears and about the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial in general. That interview will hopefully be archived after it has run, so you can listen to it live via radio or streaming through the website, or check it out later online via the Artbeat link above.

Then on Sunday the 3rd of October I’ll record a segment for local a TV show The Couch with Fred Mafrica, again talking about my work at John Curtin Gallery and all things IOTA. That’s going to be a very relaxed conversation on a hyper-local show, so should be fun!

Connexions tonight!

A-US brooch 01 – found steel, hand-mixed grey vitreous enamel

Connexions exhibition opening is tonight!
Thursday September 30th
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Gallery Central: 12 Aberdeen St, Perth.

Opening address by Katherine Kalaf.
Artists: Emily Beckley, Fatemeh Boroujeni, Melissa Cameron, Blandine Halle, Eden Lennox, and Sultana Shamshi.
Connexions is honoured to be a festival event of the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial – IOTA21 and is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries. IOTA21 is also sponsored by (my former employer – as an interior architect) Lotterywest!

Gallery hours: Monday – Friday: 11am – 4.30pm & Saturday: 12pm – 2:30pm
Artist Talk: Saturday 2 October 12pm

Feel free to bring a friend!

Connexions in Perth!

The Connexions artist team are proud to invite you to their exhibition, to be opened by Katherine Kalaf on Thursday the 30th of September 5:30 – 7:30 pm, at Gallery Central, 12 Aberdeen St, Perth.


Connexions is honoured to be a festival event of the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial – IOTA21 and features works by jewellery artists Emily Beckley, Fatemeh Boroujeni, Melissa Cameron, Blandine Halle, Eden Lennox, and Sultana Shamshi.


Gallery hours: Monday – Friday: 11am – 4.30pm & Saturday: 12pm – 2:30pm
Artist Talk: Saturday 2 October 12pm

More details in the invitation images above. Please remember to RSVP to the opening: gallery@nmtafe.wa.edu.au and of course please invite your friends!

Looking forward to sharing a drink and a chat at the opening!

Article in Art Guide

Art Guide Australia has an article about the IOTA21 festival online now, and Juukan Tears gets a named checked and an image. Thank you Sheridan Hart for the chat and the mention. There’s other media out there, Art Monthly Australasia and of course the IOTA21 catalogue if you’re keen for more to read about the two main IOTA exhibitions and my work.

Juukan Tears, 2021
Recycled galvanised corrugated steel (from the artist’s back shed), chromed steel chain
2.6m x 4m x 5cm
Photographer: Melissa Cameron

Juukan Tears is up!

Juukan Tears has been launched for nearly a week now, so here’s a few images of the work for those far away and curious.

Juukan Tears, 2021
Recycled galvanised corrugated steel (from the artist’s back shed), chromed steel chain
2.6m x 4m x 5cm
Photographer: Melissa Cameron

Juukan Tears, 2021 (tears detail)
Recycled galvanised corrugated steel (from the artist’s back shed), chromed steel chain
2.6m x 4m x 5cm
Photographer: Melissa Cameron

Juukan Tears, 2021 (detail)
Recycled galvanised corrugated steel (from the artist’s back shed), chromed steel chain
2.6m x 4m x 5cm
Photographer: Melissa Cameron

Juukan Tears, 2021 (left panel detail)
Recycled galvanised corrugated steel (from the artist’s back shed), chromed steel chain
2.6m x 4m x 5cm
Photographer: Melissa Cameron

Juukan Tears

In May of 2020 mining company Rio Tinto destroyed a site which contained the Juukan Shelters, a place that had been in use by the First Nations traditional custodians of that land, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) peoples, for over 46,000 years.

Located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia (WA), the Shelters were on land leased by Rio Tinto for the Brockman 4 mine, one of their 16 in the area. Approval to mine was granted in 2013, under WA’s Section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage act of 1972, which is currently under review. In 2014 an archaeological survey of the site found 4,000-year-old human hair, as well as proof of continuous use of the site dating back 46,000 years.

The site was considered in the “top five”[1] most significant sites in the Pilbara by archaeologist Dr Heather Builth. Archaeologist Dr Michael Slack, author of multiple reports on the shelters in 2008 and 2014, and the team leader of an excavation that removed over 7000 artefacts from the caves in 2014[2], told Rio Tinto that the shelter known as Juukan 2, was of “the highest archaeological significance in Australia.”[3]

The Rio Tinto offices occupy the tallest building in Perth. In a relatively small and topographically flat city, the building is visible for kilometres around its central city site, including from my studio space in North Perth. It became a constant reminder in the weeks after the blast that this huge icon remained unscathed, while 46,000 years of human history in a remote and sparsely human-occupied part of our country had been blasted into oblivion.

Noticing it afresh made me wonder about the stories that exist under my feet, that because of colonisation will never be told. What did we lose almost 200 years ago? And what would happen if the places were reversed? If we made protests about a sacred city building that ended up being futile, and then bore witness to its destruction, how would we feel? What would we do?

The work Juukan Tears is in two main parts, consisting of a portrait of the Rio Tinto building “drawn” in relief, using void space to express lines. The lines themselves are serrated, as they are made of removed amalgamations of teardrop shapes, that were linked to create the broken waterfall of tears hung to the right of the portrait. The tear chains each have one hundred tears and hang in two rows of twenty-three. That makes four-thousand six-hundred teardrops, equalling one tear for every ten years of time lost when the Juukan Shelters were destroyed.

The piece is made from recycled corrugated galvinised steel sheets that I removed from the shed in my own backyard. There are over 7000 chromed steel chain links used to stitch together the parts. When added up, the broken waterfall contains approximately 80m of teardrop chain.

The background of the drawing section is cut into 382 rectangular columns of four different lengths. It was reported that there were 382 holes already drilled into the Juukan Shelters before the “Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura Traditional Owners were made aware of the planned blast on May 15, 2020.”[4] Ultimately Rio Tinto decided it would be too dangerous to remove the shot that was already placed into each of these holes, so the site was detonated. By careful placement of the four different column lengths, I steganographically hid a Morse code message into the piece. Once decoded, it reads “46,000 year old Juukan Shelters destroyed for… iron ore.”


[1] Keira Jenkins, “Rio Tinto Tells Senate Inquiry It Could Have Avoided Juukan Gorge Destruction.”

[2] Gregg Borschmann, “Rio Tinto Knew Six Years Ago about 46,000-Year-Old Cave Site It Blasted.”

[3] Keira Jenkins, “Rio Tinto Tells Senate Inquiry It Could Have Avoided Juukan Gorge Destruction.”

[4] Keira Jenkins.