Marfa, TX

mapping the places I picked up bits of discarded steel in Texas

In 2017 I went on vacation to Marfa, TX, with Bruce and Elaine. It’s in the Chihuahuan desert; there, dropped steel has a long life on the ground. Seeing steel, and knowing I could geotag what I picked up using my phone’s camera, I started a solo scavenger hunt. It covered a campsite; a former US military base (now a part of the Chinati Foundation); the grounds of hotels, diners, galleries and museums; and the dusty streets and sidewalks of the town.

This map shows what I found where, and when.

click on a point to see the find in that location

Master Class Workshop – Liquid Enamel for Steel and Copper with visiting artist Melissa Cameron.

fuckthispresidentandtheregimeherodeinon 2017. Stainless steel, titanium, vitreous enamel

14 – 15 September 2019

In her practice Melissa Cameron has perfected the application of liquid enamel onto small objects. It’s a unique enamelling method, well suited to both flat and dimensional forms, with coating found objects like wire and tiny laser-cut parts being Melissa’s specialties.

In this workshop with the artist, learn her tips and tricks for using liquid enamel on steel and copper, from metal surface preparation to enamel mixing, application, and firing. Extend your decorative palette with textures and patterns using simple techniques, well suited for use on items of jewellery and small objects.

This masterclass is being held in conjunction with Melissa Cameron’s solo exhibition at Bilk Gallery opening on Friday the 13 September 2019, 6pm – 8pm.

Workshop details
Time: 9.30 am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 14 – 15 September.
Location: Workshop Bilk, 403 Captians Flat Road Carwoola Queanbeyan NSW Australia. Attendees will need to bring their own lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.
Materials: All materials and tools will be supplied.
Cost: $450 per person for the two days. Maximum of six places available.

The Neck

an exhibition of works with a message made to dangle from the neck

The Neck is an exhibition of neckpieces curated by Bridget Kennedy which will be going on show at Bridget Kennedy Contemporary Jewellery and Object Gallery from Thursday July 4th, with opening drinks from 6-8pm. See it at 53 Ridge St North Sydney, Wed to Sat 11 – 5pm until 27th of July.

The neck, often seen as a sensual part of the body, a site of vulnerability, is also a site of strength, supporting the heavy head, a conduit to our heart and lungs, providing life giving oxygen to our bodies, and nourishment through the ingestion of food. At a time when our planet and humanity seems to be suffocating on many fronts, strangled by powerful, self serving ‘leaders’, Bridget Kennedy invites selected artists to explore the neck as a vehicle for political, social and environmental activation. Artists include; Melissa Cameron, Melinda Young, Liane Rossler, Pennie Jagiello, Claire McArdle, Peter Deckers, Nicole Robins, Misa Gelin, Shirley Cho, Cara Johnson, Zoe Brand, Kelly McDonald, Vivian Atkinson, Tracey Clement, Vernon Bowden, Renee Pearson, Helena Bogucki, Roseanne Bartley.

10% of artist profits will be donateed to Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) . The exhibition will be opened by Corinne Fisher, Coordinator of the Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) initiative at the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education.

My contribution was originally seen in the IMAGINE exhibition, curated by Boris Bally, which toured the US for a couple of years. It’s the first time it is being seen in Australia, and consequently it’s the first time I’ve posted a gun inside Australia. Fingers crossed it makes it…

Purpose, Process, Paper

If you’re heading to Chicago for SNAG, or you’re already there, I invite you to check out this exhibition, sensitively curated by Catherine Bowyer and Kiff Slemmons. Of all the things at SNAG this year, this is the one that I’d most liked to have seen in person.

Wanneroo Community Art Awards

Melissa’s a sculptor – who knew?

As advertised last Friday was the opening of the City of Wanneroo Community Art Awards, and at the opening I was awarded the main prize in the Sculpture category!!

Me and the Wanneroo Mayor

If you’re in WA and want to see the show, head to 3 Rocca Way, Wanneroo from Monday to Saturday until the 14th of June, from 10am-4pm.

For those nowhere near, there’s a bunch of images of the night on their Facebook page (spot one of me and Coop that bucks the trend of us taking only awful photos together – well done that photographer, you may have broken the hex) or have a look at the virtual tour of the exhibition.
Or check out the list of the award winners here. (And a big hello to the person I met at the exhibition during the Welcome To Country hand-linking – now that I’ve seen that work I get you, and I’m on the same page 😉 )

Earrings et al

Bilk gallery in Canberra is having another earring show and as you can see I’m in it. As are a bunch of far more frequent makers of earrings than I, so if you have ears and you’re in the area I hope you’ll get along.

Opening Friday 3 May 6pm – 8pm
It’s been three years since the last ‘WHAT IS IT WITH EARRINGS?!’ exhibition at Bilk Gallery! In fact it has been six years since the original title grew from a conversation about this wonderful form of adornment and the frustrated response to the lover of earrings with the exclamation – What is it with earrings?
This year we have an exceptional collection of outstanding earrings and ear ornamentations – one off and unique from; Peta Kruger, Johannes Kuhnen, Carlier Makigawa, Kath Inglis, Taweesak Molsawat, Melissa Cameron, Larah Nott, Marian Hosking, Bin Dixon Ward, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Wen-Miao Yeh, David Walker, Chris Bahng, Mio Kuhnen, Jane Bowden, Sim Luttin, Jane Reilly, Phillipa Gee, Simon Williams, Angela Giuliani, Julie Blyfield, Anna Daveron, Jill Hermans, Dan DiCaprio, Nellie Peoples, Godwin Baum, and Samantha Chester.

Also opening next Friday is the Wanneroo Gallery 2019 Community Art Awards & Exhibition.

Saturday 4 May – Friday 14 June 2019 // Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm, at The Gallery, Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre, 3 Rocca Way, Wanneroo WA 6065

I have a new small sculptural work in the show, and I’ll be at the opening next Friday night, so if you’re a fellow-artist or invited guest please come say hi!

More details on their website

Image of WIP for the exhibition Marfa, TX

Finally, the new workshop is in use! This is the beginnings of a new exhibition, titled Marfa, TX, that will take place at Bilk in September of this year. It’s been a long time in the making – I opened my ‘time capsule’ from my 2017 trip to the adopted home of Donald Judd a couple of weeks ago, and I’m just about finished mapping my ‘finds’ from it both online, and, as you can see, on my bench. I plan to share my google map here soon!

(I’m willing to accept that my last sentence might only excite its author…)

Adorn is open!

Bethamy Linton -3 pieces from the Vanishing Australian Bird Series – 2018

We had a great time at the official opening last night where Bethamy Linton received a whopping great pearl from Haddy’s Gemological Services in recognition of her stunning works (above).

Now I look forward to the the Driven to Adorn Forum TOMORROW! This will be my first opportunity to share what I’ve been up to in the USA for the last 6.5 years with my home-town crew. Please come along and say hi!

From the Maker&Smith email circular (Carola from M&S has organised this extravaganza and will be hosting the event on Sunday):

This is a quick note to remind you about the ‘Driven to Adorn’ forum of conversations about contemporary jewellery taking place at the Joondalup Reception Centre on Sunday 24 March from 2pm. (Registration is required. Tickets are $30 each to cover artist fees and catering.)

We cannot wait to hear what Katherine Kalaf has to impart – a wealth of knowledge not only about her extensive archive of makers and hands-on experience as a founder of the contemporary jewellery movement in Australia, but also her best tips for creative entrepreneurs.

Also, how amazing to hear from six of our contemporary jewellers who are making waves in WA:
Melissa Cameron, Sarah Elson, Susannah Kings-Lynne, Bethamy Linton, Claire Townsend and Alister Yiap will show us what they’ve been working on and lead us in discussion about contemporary craft matters in WA.

Read about the presenters and opportunities on our website.

Register via the City of Joondalup.

Carola & Mary Ellen

Fundraiser for Islamic Relief Australia

These resist series neckpieces and earrings are being sold to raise money for Islamic Relief AustraliaIslamic Relief Australia is an international aid and development charity working to end poverty, illiteracy and disease.”

Thanks to the powers of Instagram the neckpieces have been snapped up, but the two pairs of earrings (above) are still available.

You will have seen these before around these parts, but they are from my long-running Resist series,so each neckpiece spells ‘resist’ in ascii/binary, while the earrings spell ‘no’. These jewel messages are each hand-enamelled on stainless steel, with titanium ear hooks.

The full purchase price of AUD $130 for a chain or $215 for each pair of earrings will go to them in honour of those Muslims who lost their lives to a white supremacist terrorist last Friday in beautiful Christchurch.


USA – USD (same dollar amount) over PayPal with shipping inclusive
Australia – AUD bank transfer with added $10 for shipping
NZ – ships free
UK – Shipping is AUD $21.50, so for the earrings that makes it £128 all up

If you live elsewhere, please get in contact

I usually give 5% of the price of this series to Islamic Relief USA but owing to my relocation this will now be going to the Australian arm. This series is still available atBilk Gallery and Bini Gallery in AUS and Fancy, Bellevue Arts Museum and Danaca Design Gallery in Seattle.


Last Friday’s murder of 50 Muslim people at prayer in New Zealand has shocked and saddened the world, and seen an outpouring of empathy and generosity towards those who were attacked. For those looking for a tangible way to show your support, you’ll probably have seen the multiple funding pages which go directly to the families involved:

United for Christchurch Mosque Shootings: Support the victims and families of shootings in 2 mosques in New Zealand

Victim Support Official Page: Christchurch Shooting Victims’ Fund

Al Manar Trust: Emergency Appeal Christchurch Victims

And then there is Know Their Name, set up to share the names and stories of those who died.

There are good signs that the New Zealand Parliament will ban semi-automatic firearms, but it is the usual tragedy – that it takes a terrorist act of this magnitude for citizens and lawmakers to come to a consensus about the place of these guns in our society.

And for us Australians who see a federal election looming, it’s time to think hard about who our representatives will be, and what they say about this, and future, horrific acts of violence perpetrated by white terrorists. As to future white-perpetrated violence – our past aggression in holding up our unearned privilege is provenance enough. Of course I’m not willing future acts to happen; rather I’m fearing the worst of the entitlement we’ve all seen on display in people of my colour, across all strata of society, compounded by politically troubling times.

A brief but informative take on Australia’s history as a nation built on white nationalism is by Jason Wilson on The Guardian. As per Wilson, we live in an “environment that has nurtured white supremacist terror.”

It’s on white people to undo white supremacy. We’ve got a lot of work to do. On that note, of late I’ve been doing the Me and White Supremacy Workbook by Layla F. Saad. It’s one more prong in the setting of accountability and true equality, a gem I truly prize.