If you get in early enough this morning you’ll se me hit 3,500 linked teardrops (only 1,600 more to go!) You might also get to see Susannah and I share what we got up to on our 4-day hiatus – in my case some very non-canonical jewellery remodeling as part of a commission, and restocking some bracelets. Always good to have a bracelet or two on hand (see what I did there!?!)
Which reminds me! I finally got my copy of the new Nicolas Estrada-edited jewellery look-book New Bracelets. (The Nile link – currently cheapest available in Australia, check shipping tho.) As usual he’s done a great job, and I have a couple of works in there, including some of those pinhole riveted bracelets that I have just restocked, which I do in a plain steel finish (as per the book) as well as a sandblasted texture finish that is heat coloured to a deep purple brown. Check it out on Instagram – I’ll pop up a pic of the latest batch today.
If you’re after the other style in there – the multilayered bracelet joined with my signature tensioned steel cable – you should head over to Tereza Seabra gallery in Lisbon, she currently has the finest collection of them in all the lands!
It’s another public holiday today in Perth, and after the uber long weekend I’ll still be on holiday (read: working on unrelated projects in the studio) until the 9th, coming back on the 12th of April.
Looking forward to seeing you – my beloved livestream devotee(s)- then 😉
The government last week announced they have extended public submissions on a voice to parliament to Friday, 30 April. This gives you four more weeks to voice your support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected by the Constitution.
Nothing has changed. We are pushing ahead with our message that a First Nations Voice to Parliament must be protected by the Constitution.
IT’S TIME! Voice submissions extended! – email from the Indigenous Law Centre
Further to my post of last week, there’s now a whole month for you to make your submissions. See the Uluru Statement Supporter Kit for more details. I used their Submission Generator which made the process super easy, and got mine done on a Sunday afternoon. Please add your voice to those asking for constitutional protection of a First Nations voice to parliament. It’s time.
For those of you following along, here in Australia we’re getting close to the submission deadline for comment on the Indigenous Voice co-design process, with final submissions due on the 31st of March.
From the zoom lecture I attended I found out that the Minister of Indigenous Affairs Ken Wyatt has not sought to push for a constitutional change, making the Indigenous Voice a government mandated rather than a constitutionally recognised position.
As per the Uluru Statement Supporters Kit:
There is a real risk is that constitutional recognition will be separated from the idea of a First Nations Voice. This risks the government putting in place a legislative Voice and pursuing a symbolic form of constitutional recognition that does not accord with the wishes of First Nations people themselves.
As the Kit also states:
We are calling on all Australians to walk with us in support of a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution.
A First Nations Voice, protected by the Constitution, will mean that agreement-making and truth-telling can finally be done on equal terms. With Voice, we can begin the journey of coming together after a struggle
For anyone located on the land we now call Australia, I encourage you to take this week to engage in the Uluru Statement week of action. First download and read the kit – it’s short, it’s pithy and contains a bunch of supporter images – here: https://ulurustatement.org/supporter-kit
Then watch the online resources at the The Uluru Statement website, and on their Vimeo page (as mentioned I watched Briefing 1 from there as it happened – in fact it was mostly a listen while I was sawing – and I’ll be doing the same of Briefing 2 today – too easy!) so by Friday I’ll be writing my submission along with a whole bunch of people.
The Submission Generator on the website will even walk you through it so it’s easy to get involved and support The Uluru Statement in its time of need.
to anyone who got sent to Twitch instead of YouTube by clicking on my link yesterday, I’m really sorry. I don’t know where the twitch link came from – I had that URL in a draft of one of my posts for a tiny moment, 6 weeks ago! I did make the mistake of copying an pasting from a previous post, but it was the published version that links to YouTube! Be aware folks, the internet NEVER forgets…
On the upside, we had a great q+a with a bunch of email questions and live questions from Instagram thanks to my dm’s, and you can go back in time to catch it all here:
In May of 2020 mining company Rio Tinto destroyed the Juukan Shelters, containing sacred caves that had been in use by the traditional custodians of that part of (what we now call) Western Australia, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) peoples, for over 46,000 years. The Shelters were in the remote Pilbara region of WA, and were located within the Brockman 4 mine, one among Rio Tinto’s 16 iron ore mines in the region. The PKKP had registered their objections to the extension of the mine into the area of the Juukan Shelters for several years, but owing to an outdated WA Government permit system that allows for no objections once a mining permit is issued, and an unequal and paternalistic mining rights negotiation process that effectively gags First Nation recipients of mining money, their cries went unheeded.
Since then the blast has received significant public outcry and media attention in Australia and been subject to a government inquiry, not least because recent archaeological excavations had found ancient human hair, proving continual human use of the shelters for 46,000 years.
Western Australia is home to Rio Tinto Iron Ore, and its capital, Perth, the city where I live, boasts the Rio Tinto office tower (also known as Central Park) as its tallest building. In a relatively small and topographically flat city it is visible from many kilometers away, including from my house – and my studio space – in North Perth.
My response to the shameful destruction of sacred sites and continued silencing of our First Nations people, (not to mention the over representation of environmental abusers like Rio Tinto in the skyline of Perth), is this work, with the working title Juukan Tears. It is a piece in two sections, the largest a wall hanging approximately 4m (13′) tall by 1.3m (4.3′) wide, the second section being a group 46 chains that are each approximately 1.8m long. It is made out of recycled custom orb, a common fencing and building material made from galvinised steel, which was previously the siding and roofing material of my back shed. (Image at this post.)
The first and larger part of the work contains a rendering of the Rio Tinto headquarters in Perth, with line-work “drawn” in different amalgamations of teardrop shapes. The second piece makes use of the 4,600 teardrop shapes, representing 10% of the 46,000 years of history lost when the Juukan Shelters were destroyed last May, to make chains of tears. Groups of 100 teardrops are joined to make 46 chains that will be hung next to the drawing, which combined makes approximately 80m (260′) of chain.
I am grateful to the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries in Western Australia for their financial support of this project, and to the IOTA and John Curtin Gallery curatorial teams for their support of this work and my greater practice.
11am on Friday the 19th of February, Perth time (see below for your timezone) we’re having a live q+a on my YouTube channel about the piece – working title Juukan Tears – that me and my assistant Susannah Kings-Lynne are currently working on in my studio.
If you have a question you’d like to put to us – any question – please feel free to send it to me in advance (jewellery at melissacameron.net) or you can write it in the comments section of the live feed once we get going. We’ll be answering questions and talking making (such as why we are hand-slicing such a ridiculously large work) live for an hour, while working on some chain. We’d love to see you in the chat 😉
7 p.m.: Seattle **Thurs 18th 10 p.m.: Philadelphia **Thurs 18th 3 a.m.: UK **Fri 19th 4 a.m.: Italy 8:30 a.m.: India 11 a.m.: Perth/China/Singapore 1 p.m.: Brisbane 2 p.m.: Melbourne/Sydney 4 p.m.: New Zealand
Tomorrow I’ll share more about the work, and don’t forget you can see me (and on Mondays and Fridays, Susannah too) working on it in my studio. I’ve got the camera on Monday to Friday (Perth time) which you can see live and through archived streams at that YouTube link above.