humble apologies

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:

And we will be live again on Monday, right here: https://www.youtube.com/c/MelissaCameron-artist

Live now!

We’re taking to ourselves in the studio: https://youtu.be/Zzsu3Q2_bks

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tomorrow!

Come chat with me on YouTube for an hour!

pretty much what you can expect, but with more talking to camera

Live now: https://youtu.be/Zzsu3Q2_bks

Details: go to my YouTube channel where you can click on the live-stream and in the chat window type in a question for us to answer. Yes, us! Susannah Kings-Lynne will be there too.

11am at GMT +8, (though the feed will be running from about 9am as usual) which is maybe not your time, but hopefully your time is listed here:

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

Look forward to answering your questions 🙂

Juukan Tears

wip, February 2021

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their objections to the extension of the mine into the area of the Juukan Shelters for several years, but owing to an outdated WA Government permit system that allows for no objections once a mining permit is issued, and an unequal and paternalistic mining rights negotiation process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.

The drawing, or wall hanging, is itself also cut into 382 rectangular forms, to represent all of the holes drilled into the Juukan Shelters on the Brockman 4 mine site before the “Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura Traditional Owners were made aware of the planned blast on May 15.” Within the background, using length and order of these 382 pieces, is depicted a message in a modified version of Morse Code. When decoded it reads: “46,000 year old Juukan shelters destroyed for…iron ore”

As mentioned previously, this work will debut at the John Curtin Gallery at Curtin University for the Indian Ocean Triennial Australia – IOTA21 – in September 2021.

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.

live-stream q+a

studio – assembly of wall hanging – background, and beginnings of a new teardrop neckpiece with teardrops still with decals on, and a lid full of chain pieces to link the teardrops – foreground

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.

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sawing continues solo

I’m still live-streaming from the studio Monday – Friday, 9am-ish till 5pmish, minus lunch time. This was to be the first full week of our current routine, in which my colleague Susannah Kings-Lynne joins in the action on Mondays and Fridays for 5 hours per day.*

But even before we could begin our uninterrupted week the routine was broken, due to our cautiousness over the new COVID-19 lockdown put in place in Perth last night at 6pm. We’ll reassess before Friday, but today it’s just gonna be me grinding away at the sheets of steel.

For a preview, here’s last Friday morning’s stream. If you skip in about 1hr and 25 mins you can see our inaugural 10:30am race, where I challenged Susannah to see who could get through a set length of sawing first 😉

Friday 29.1.21, morning session

Hit the live-stream through this link if you want to see the latest. (Having posted this I’m now running late so look for me after 9:30am WST today..!)

* I started the project midweek and I’ve had some time away from the bench with summer holidays, ergo no complete Mon-Fri as yet.

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Live stream playlist

Hey Jan Smith! This one is for you.

Playlist for the 13.1.2021

So far today there’s been Miz Cracker – She’s a Woman!! and some You’re Wrong About – which I’m about to go finish. See you here in about 3 mins 😉

(BTW: If I’ve included an apple podcasts link above it’s only because the content makers haven’t got a stand-alone web page about the show – they’re all on many networks.)

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Do you like to watch?

before – the source of the steel for this project

If your answer to the above question is yes, come join me in my studio for the next six or so months. In this link (click on the Live Stream link – if it’s there, I’m in the studio) you can see live footage of me as I work on hand sawing a piece from a few 3m x 82cm sheets of custom orb steel.

I am now live-streaming on weekdays from my studio, as I work on my largest work to date, thanks to my partner and wildly overqualified technical assistant Bruce Cooper (previously credited here as TurboNerd), and my funding partner, the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries in Western Australia. The finished work is destined for exhibition at the John Curtin Gallery at Curtin University as a part of IOTA21: the first Indian Ocean Craft Triennial, opening September 2021.

So if you’re tired of all the usual options:
a/ you have no need of boiled water
b/ your grass is in hibernation
c/ you can’t possibly bear witness to any more paint drying…
come take a peek into my studio. And if you’re not in the mood now, don’t worry, this one will take some time (that’s kinda the point) so feel free to check in later.

Solsticefest 2020

stratton star, 2009. vintage powder compact, stainless, 925 silver

Hi! How are you doing?

We’re getting pretty deep into Solsticefest 2020 over here. I hope you’re keeping calm, cool, warm and light where you are.

This is just a note to say that we’re here, we made it, and that is worth celebrating, so I hope you will, in the ways that you can right now.

Expect a big (as in both long and large) project starting here very soon, with a significant online component.

I’ll be inviting you all into my studio, to contemplate time with me.

Until then, stay safe, and seek and hold the joy.

xx m

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Perth holiday party

melissa cameron, plated powder case triptych II – brooch, 2011.

Fellow Perthlings,

You’re invited to join me in my studio to toast the holiday season this Friday or Saturday afternoon. Get in touch for the details.

DM on insta or email jewellery @ the above web address 😉

xx m

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