Bilk. Tomorrow (or today if you’re sneaky!)

image courtesy Bilk Gallery

10 days ago I wrote about the upcoming Full Circle show at the *New Bilk* just outside Canberra. I mentioned that it would have a simultaneous online and in-person opening on the 21st of November.

Well, if you sneak over to the Bilk website right now you can cop a look at all the works destined to be officially “opened” tomorrow. And if that weren’t enough, if you take a shine to a work you can go buy it in the shop, too!

OK, on closer inspection that first link does say that pieces will be available to purchase online from 12 noon (I’m assuming Canberra time) tomorrow, so maybe don’t take my word as gospel….

But please, one way or the other, see the show. There’s such a beautiful and diverse richness to this collection, and once again I’m proud to be amongst such a talented and thoughtful group of makers.

NAIDOC Film Fest

I’m a bit late in the run to be sharing this, but after doing the Reconciliation Film Festival earlier this year I’ve been once again enjoying the Fan Force TV format to watch the NAIDOC Film Festival.

Like the earlier lockdown-proof film festival, all films have a question-and-answer sessions after each screening with community members involved in the making of that film. Everyone who speaks brings such insight to the film, be it a documentary or scripted piece, which obviously enhances the understanding of the contexts and content, especially useful for these films as they don’t get a tonne of other media hype.

There’s still a few films to go and some re-screenings are planned so if you have the time and the cash (far cheaper than the movies for a subscription that can play for the whole family) I really recommend it. There are a lot of First Nations films on the platform in general that you can see at any time, so if you haven’t managed to catch In My Blood It Runs or The Australian Dream as yet, that’s a place to see them, too.

For my international friends, NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, and NAIDOC week has a long history here in the place now known as Australia, located on the unceded sovereign lands of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Traditional Custodians of the lands, waters and seas where I live and work.

CRACK!

India de Beaufort – Crack

Crack by India de Beaufort is my new jam.

While it’s not ovah-over (heeeey Georgia), and the crazy spinning of the current guy is veering ever steadily out of the boundaries of credulity, (but just within those previously outlined by the craven despotism that has marked his tenure for it to not surprise ANYONE) there has to be a moment, however tiny, of grace.

To celebrate the win.

There’s been so many, so, so many losses. We gotta celebrate when we can.

Crack is 2 mins and 33 seconds of pure celebration. Warning – it’s addictive..!

Full Circle – Bilk Gallery

melissa cameron circle pin, square pin, 2020. steel, vitreous enamel

Bilk Gallery has completed a Full Circle. The gallery space is once again connected to a workshop in a beautiful rural setting 10 minutes out of Canberra.
Our first exhibition will showcase new pieces from; Brenda Ridgewell, Carlier Makigawa, Chris Bahng, Cinnamon Lee, Claire McArdle, Daniel DiCaprio, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Johannes Kuhnen, Julie Blyfield, Kath Inglis, Larah Nott, Linda Hughes, Marian Hosking, Melissa Cameron, Mio Kuhnen, Nick Bastin, Sean O’Connell, Taweesak Molsawat and Vicki Mason. 
Please join us for the opening weekend on the 21 and 22 November 2020 11.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Following the opening weekend the gallery hours will be Friday & Saturday 11.00 am to 5.00 pm or by appointment until the 20 December 2020.
Purchases made during this exhibition can be taken home on the day. The exhibition will be made available online and pieces can be purchased through the website for those who cannot make it to our new space.
This will be a masked event, with disposable masks and hand sanitiser available at the gallery (and social distancing). The new space has a beautiful garden area and weather pending, there will be seating and tables outside.  We ask while it might be a rural property, please do not bring your dogs as we have dogs of our own.
Please RSVP via gallery@bilk.com.au as in these uncertain times it will make it easier for us make this a safe social distancing event. 
We looking forward to seeing you and connecting once again.
Mio, Helen and Johannes

Opening weekend Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 November 2020 11.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Gallery hours: Friday & Saturday 11.00 am to 5.00 pm, or by appointment until the 20 December.

Bilk Gallery – 403 Captians Flat Road Carwoola – (02) 6232 9411

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 gallery.

Bilk Gallery

I’ve stayed at the farm as I prepared for the opening of my two exhibitions at the ‘old’ Bilk. As you might expect it’s a beautiful mix of rural views outside (with frequent kangaroo visitors) and incredible hand-made design inside. If you have the chance I implore you to go see the show and catch up with Mio, Helen and Johannes.

safe travels.

3 things on November 3

Need some distraction for this 3rd of November? Yup, me too.

1/ It’s Melbourne Cup Day!

OK, so for those of you outside Australia who may have never heard of the Melbourne Cup, it might help to think Royal Ascot or The Kentucky Derby. If those ring no bells, here’s a quick story to illustrate the widespread cultural impact of this fairly unique phenomenon.

First up, a bit of Aus history. Thanks to racing/gambling traditionally being a male dominated pastime, in the 60’s the organisers of ‘The Cup’ decided that the hook needed to attract more of “the ladies” was a womens fashion competition. To make the competition worthwhile *wink wink* some pretty decent prizes – a new car continues to be the main hook – were in the offing. Despite competitive gendered aesthetics going off the boil in most areas of society, race day fashion competitions persist, and as such these competitions have pretty much dictated, and slowly evolved, what women, and now men, might wear to the races.

As a hook for racing it worked incredibly well; it helped make race day into a combination celebration – with a fashion parade, a food and wine festival and of course the horse races. Prior to that point, conservative cultural norms and racing etiquette fairly strictly controlled what was considered “proper” to wear to a horse race, and although Fashions on the Field has evolved the wardrobe of attendees, it still tilts towards the conservative. It’s been pretty consistently great for milliners though, because even when people stopped wearing hats for a bit there they never went out of style on race day.

That wasn’t the story, just a long preamble. Hey, we’ve got time to kill, right?

Back when I worked 9-5 as the Drafting and Design officer for Lotterywest, Melbourne Cup was a free lunch day (from memory it was relatively unusual in the public service, but then Lotterywest is a unique quango) . There would be a catered lunch for employees along with a screening of The Melbourne Cup live at 12pm, as in WA we’re 3 hours behind the state where the race is run at 3pm. Being an organisation of over 130 staff at that time, with a foyer and conference room that could fit about half of the staff in at once, we had to eat in 2 sittings. But this is The Melbourne Cup – it’s your right as an Aussie punter to see the whole damn race! To get around this, those in the second sitting were treated to a delayed screening of the race at 1pm, after the change over, and the staff who watched the race live at the first sitting were warned not to share spoilers. Just like in offices all over the nation (except in Victoria where the day is a bona fide public holiday) there were informal sweeps and prizes awarded for the best hat/outfit worn on the day.

Like many others I’ve stopped watching the “race that stops a nation” because, well, gambling and horse cruelty racing ain’t my bag, and after 7 races out of the country it was an easy habit to kick. However, getting dressed up and quality millinery are very much my thing, so I still support everyone’s right to frock, feast and a long lunch, especially today when my friends in Victoria are finally free to enjoy their first public holiday since their seemingly interminable lockdown ended.

2/ It’s Benvenuto Cellini’s birthday!

Because of course it is!

Benne, the noted goldsmith, street brawler and author is best known because he took the time to record his own life in The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini (link to Project Gutenberg download page for the book, recommended if you fancy your boastful ghostwritten tales from an actual Renaissance man.) The Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia disagree on his actual birth date but I’m going with Wikipedia. My recommendation? Read Britannica for the more cohesive and shorter essay on the bloke, and see Wikipedia for the pictures 😉

3/ It’s Independence of Cuenca Day in Ecuador!

Cuenca became the third city to declare independence from Spanish colonial rule on the 3rd of November in 1820 (two years before civil war would free all of Ecuador from Spain). It joined the cities Quito and Guayaquil who had already declared their freedom from the colonisers.

The holiday on the 3rd in Cuenca also follows nationwide celebrations for the Day of the Dead in Ecuador, and is seen as the culmination of these festivities in this, the nation’s third-biggest city.

It is also noted for the art fairs that take place at this time, which attract local, national and international craftperson and artist exhibitors. There are also street parades and and fireworks in the evening, which sounds like a bang-up celebration to me! (Pun definitely intended.)

It’s a day to celebrate the city and its independence from oppressive undemocratic rule, something we can all get behind today.

¡Viva Cuenca!

Talk tomorrow night!

Team Connexions will be at the JMGA-WA meeting in Perth tomorrow night as the feature speakers for the group’s October meeting. If you’re about you can come chat it up with us as we wander through our process of organising-funding-making-filming the Connexions exhibition, which is currently on show in Paris.*

For those of you unable to get there, picture seeing your little exhibition being awarded close to 30K in funding to send your whole beautiful artist cohort to an opening literally across the globe. Then add one pandemic…

A/US 01, 2020
Found steel objects, vitreous enamel, stainless steel. Melissa Cameron.
Photo: Rob Frith

*our run has been extended at Galerie Asemblages, 66 rue Legendre, 75017 Paris, France until October 31st.

Lend me your… never mind ;)

Danaca Design are having an Instagram, online and in-gallery exhibition of jewellery that I’m in, and, in this shock twist, I’m not going to ask you to vote for my piece on Insta tomorrow.

STATE│meant is a show of Significant and Powerful Jewelry. It is an opportunity for jewelry artists to speak out on challenging subjects and raise money for organizations significant to them.

Danaca Design website

The shock twist is recent news to me too. As I started to type I realised I didn’t have it in me to ask you to vote for, or otherwise approve of, my piece on a Facebook-mediated platform. Social media exhaustion, anyone?

I do want you to see the show, and if you fancy, read up on the reasons why all of these dedicated and talented makers decided to make a work that makes a statement. So please check that part out, that’s both really interesting, and, I think, relatively worthy.

Worthy?

Yeah, there’s a long list of not-for-profit organisations that are getting a cut of these works if/when they sell. They have been chosen by the artists involved and in many cases the causes reflect the works they are attached to.

My work if sold will benefit the Aboriginal Legal Service – Western Australia, who

“provides legal advice and representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Western Australia, in Criminal, Family, Civil and Human Rights Law with additional services in community legal education, advocacy and the protection and promotion of human rights.”

https://www.als.org.au/

They get an annual donation from me/my family, but this would be an opportunity to give them a significant bump in appreciation for the work they continue to do in, well, adversarial conditions.

Please check out the show, and if you need further incentive, enjoy the recent photo* of my ever-evolving COVID-19 hair style.

(* with thanks to the immensely talented Jacinta Rosielle)

Connexions officially open!

After a hiccup and a delayed start, we opened our window display in Paris overnight on October the 13th. So you can finally see the (admittedly abbreviated) Connexions in the real! We’re at Galerie Assemblages as a part of the Parcours Bijoux jewellery festival:

66 rue Legendre, 75017 Paris, France

Exhibition dates are being extended so we can keep our 3 week engagement, so likely closing around November 7th.

Hours: We’re a window display open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The original COVID-19 friendly way to see a show! And because we’re clustered in a window there’s a few works we couldn’t fit (ok, more like 3/4 of the show) so please peruse those works at your leisure on our website.

Connexions live online!

Connexions website – short film lineup

Today we’re celebrating the launch of the Connexions exhibition website! While you’re there be sure to check out the short films of each exhibiting artist by our mate Brendan Hutchens of Vam Media, with filming assistance from Kantesha Takai of Lola Digital for Emily on Horn Island.

Connexions showcases new contemporary jewellery works by Australian artists Emily Beckley, Fatemeh Boroujeni, Melissa Cameron, Blandine Hallé, Eden Lennox and Sultana Shamshi.

And don’t forget this Saturday is our artists’ talk; click on the link that says Link to Zoom Meeting on this page. It’s on at 11am– Sat October 10th, Paris time, or at:

2 a.m.: Seattle
10:00 a.m.: UK
11 a.m.: Paris
1:30 p.m.: Iran
2:30 p.m.: India
5 p.m.: Perth
7 p.m.: Horn Island
8 p.m.: Sydney
10 p.m.: New Zealand

Hope to see y’all there!

PS.

We are proud to be supported by The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries in Western Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Seattle symposium 2020 is an anywhere symposium!

This year’s annual Seattle Metals Guild Symposium is happening and will be presented online for your convenience on Oct. 10, 2020. If you’ve never attended one because of expense or distance you’re in luck! There will be an outstanding lineup of speakers, artists, silent auction, speaker panel, and even a Happy Hour! It will all be recorded for viewing anytime from your time zone. You can register and get tickets now.

The Seattle Metals Guild put on the symposium annually – you’ll have seen me spruik it here before – and this year a few of my buddies are speaking. It’s not a local affair by any means – the 5 main speakers are all very much non-Seattleites, but 3 of them just happen to be colleagues/friends I would pretty regularly catch up with around the US at different events. There’s Cappy Counard, Stephen Yusko and Maria Eife, my occasional SNAG wife (or wifey, cos Eife and wifey… For those unfamiliar, there’s a lot of people who share a twin room at SNAG every year with the same friend, who claim their shared-room-partner as their SNAG-spouse 😉 ) along with Andrea Hill and Morgan Asoyuf.

Yes! They still managed to get an international guest! Morgan Asoyuf hails from British Columbia and is a jeweller and cultural education teacher. She is from the Tsm’syen people and has a rich First Nations and traditional goldsmithing background. And Andrea Hill will be talking growth for jewellery businesses, so it’s a very well rounded year, with those two, Stephen the precision blacksmith, (I bought a lovely bottle opener made by him the first time we met, which was nicked by some rascal at a party at ours one time – something tells me I shoulda searched Andy Cooperman [see video above] as he left the party… He and I both were introduced to Stephen at the same event and he lusted over it too.) Cappy the professor of jewellery who I did the Smitten Forum with in 2018, whose beautiful layered practice really makes you think, and Maria the designer par excellence who has been innovating with laser and 3D print technologies her whole career, and who knows the ins and outs of the jewellery fair scene. See pic below for proof!

Maria at the Smithsonian Craft Fair with Jamie Lannister.

So the benefit of not being in realbody for this symposium, aside from the ‘no pants’ option Andy has kindly laid out to us, is that those of us in completely non-synced time-zones can get onboard and see these unique and talented makers talk about their works when it’s convenient for us. For a price that’s about a third of the usual dirt-cheap SMG Symposium sign-up fee. Huzzah! COVID-19 can’t take all our fun 🙂

And so, I will get up at 7am next Sunday and while still bleary-eyed make myself an early morning mimosa, to toast all of my friends at the Zoom Happy Hour. Feel free to join me!

(And don’t let it slip, when I tell them it was all great, that I won’t be watching them speak until later that day. Ssshhhh…)