Jewellers who puppet

Sound and Shadow – online premiere!

I mentioned that there could be a chance of seeing our recent shadow puppet performance online. Well, dreams DO come true… (please season that last phrase with liberal amounts of sarcasm, yeah?)

The puppet performances are, in order:

Kirk Lang and Aran Galligan:

then Melissa Cameron and Aran Galligan:

Or if you have an hour of time, the whole show can be seen in this successive list of youtube links:




It hurts a little to watch. We’re very enthusiastic amateurs. That said, the banjo player Aaron J. Shay (see the full version for his interludes) clearly knows what he is doing.

Pocket Puppets

Sound and Shadow – second performance

Aran Galligan – House of the Rising Sun

For those of you far from Seattle who expressed interest in the Sound and Shadow puppet performance over this last weekend, (Hey Inna!) let me put your curiosity at rest – it went really, really well! And there is a rumour that the theatre records all of the performances that go on there, so you never know, a YouTube link might one day fall of the back of a truck… (There was a bunch of copyrighted music involved, so we’ll have to see if we can get it online, and then how long it lasts once uploaded…)

 

Puppet Show!

Puppet aficionados and jewellery fans unite in this one-night-only shadowy storytelling extravaganza!

Show Description – Three jewelers, after years of honing their precision jewelry making skills, delve into shadow puppetry. With an attention to detail, Kirk Lang, Aran Galligan and Melissa Cameron will tell stories through sound and shadows. Music interludes by acoustic singer-songwriter Aaron J. Shay, whose music blends an old-world folk sound with a modern lyrical style.

Pocket Theater
8312 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Tickets available now, $10 presale, $14 on the door. The money is going to the guy with real talent – the musician!

Yes, they let grown-ass adults take over a theatre for an afternoon to play with their paper toys behind a screen and in front of a bright light. What can I say, some of us have really got game! (No really, we see you, Aran.) Come along, we can play in the dark together 😉

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The post where I earnestly protest the current US government and ask you to help (since my personal protest is futile against that of a registered US voter.)

The post where I earnestly protest the current US government and ask you, if you are an American citizen, for your help.

I’m in the USA on a work visa. in fact, I’m the hanger-on, listed as a ‘dependent spouse’ on all the forms, so I can live with my husband, a valuable member of the US working class and the reason why they continue to let us in. All fine, exactly what I signed up for. As a non-resident (but resident) alien I obviously don’t get to vote, so my protests, many of which are documented here, have come in other ways, and will continue to come.

For this particular issue, however, making a plea to a US citizen is more appropriate than making art jewellery, so here I am.

The FCC votes on Net Neutrality in two days. Needless to say, if they reverse the Open Internet Order there will be a lot of big media companies deciding how the internet runs in a pay-for-play fashion, meaning the internet in all its diverse, incredible and sometimes just plain commonplace glory, is under threat. The New York Times, Tech Crunch and Wired all explain it better, but suffice to say, the way I do business, research, shop, eat, relax and play are all affected by the way I connect to the internet, and I don’t need yet another corporation coming between me and free and open access to all of that, and TO MY OWN DATA. (Such as this site.)

So as not to bore you all any longer, I sincerely ask all of you US citizens who have recourse to a senator to click one of the links below to register your protest:

Battle for the net.com

Electronic Frontier Foundation

And while you do that, I’ll get the rest of the world ready to help you in your next fight.

Thank you.

Monday – Gun day

Monday – gun day, 2. Click through to see what 33,636 guns looks like.

Wow, a whole week has rolled around without an intervening post – sorry team, that wasn’t mean to happen, but the Northwest Jewelry and Metals Symposium took over my focus late last week (from making works for Bilk Gallery in Canberra – more on that soon…) and the whole weekend, and what can I say, it was a CORKER! The best yet. If you’re ever in the area for the third weekend in October, you HAVE to head to it. And I can say this with unbiased hand to unbiased heart, as I’ve been off the organising committee a full two symposia now 😉

So, it’s Monday – gun day, part II.

I have a bunch of gun research that stretches back to 2012, which I’ve decided to start sharing, and lucky for y’all, this seems to be the obvious place. I’m not trying to trigger anyone, so if you’re not keen on following this line of thought, know that on Monday (Tuesday in some time-zones,) there will be posts generated as a result of my past and ongoing gun research.

The above images comes from a really interesting post that I first saw a couple of years ago, in 2015. I see it semi-regularly, as the post has been open in my web-browser since the day I came across it. I found it really arresting, but I didn’t know what to do with it. It’s so affecting, however, that I now count it amongst my always-open tabs (there are a random assortment of site alongside this, not just my mail client.) When I occasionally run across it, I’ll again scroll through to see what 33,636 guns looks like.

The author of this really unusual ‘article’, Matt Haughey writes; “According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013 all deaths due to firearms in the US amounted to 33,636 people.” He found a unique and very compelling way to visualise this, which proves really ‘sticky’ (you know what I mean?), at least to my brain.

I hope you take a look.

Shadowy figures

Shadow puppets?!?

So about a billion years ago I made a two-fold piece, entitled The Raven and The Fishes, for the biennial Contemporary Australian Silver Award.

The pieces were my interpretation of the works of singer, musician and writer Nick Cave, with the Fishes work a meditation on the Nick Cave and the Bads Seeds song Breathless.

This weekend, thanks to evil genius Aran Galligan who has set up the night, built the stage and who will of course be performing her own piece, I’ll be debuting a familiar-looking shadow puppet performance in between acts at a punk rock gig here in shadowy Seattle.

If you’re in the area, consider yourself invited! We’ll be starting after the first band:

5 years

I moved to the USA. Everything changed. Nothing changed.

Australia and the USA from the Coat Hanger series, 2012. Recycled steel, steel, vitreous enamel.

St Patrick’s day; the middle day of 3 straight days of anniversaries, for me. From the image above I think it’s easy enough to guess what happened to me on the 17th of March 2012. My life, my work, everything changed. But, one can say that about every day that we get to share on this planet. For me, this last 5 years has been full of days like these.

Imagine Peace Now – RSVP, books and Metalsmith article

A post about guns, and where you can see them. With a snow-friend chaser.

NB: a post about guns and where you can see an exhibition of them. With a snow-friend chaser.

For those of you in the greater Boston area whose interest was piqued at the mention of the opening of Imagine Peace Now at the Society for Arts and Crafts last week, there’s a place to RSVP if you’re planning to attend.

Opening reception for I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now (IPN) will be held on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EST) at the new Society of Arts + Crafts in Boston.

And if your interest was piqued by mention of the catalogue, then you might want to go here to grab yourself a copy. I received mine last week, and it’s an intense read. The images are universally great, and as you might imagine, the included artist statements are by turns affecting, depressing and thought-provoking.

There is also a new Findings section in Metalsmith Magazine (in the newly refreshed format – something we have had in the pipeline for the last eight months – I have mine and I’m proud to have my name in it as it’s a corker!) featuring a couple of the works from the IPN exhibition. You can see it via a digital free trial or you can purchase yourself a hard copy to keep forever!

Finally, Boris Bally, the man to whom we owe this whole exhibition, the man who sourced, stored and then sent out all of the ‘hardware’ used to make pieces for the show, is a keynote speaker at the ACJ 20:20 Visions Conference in Sheffield in July. He will be speaking about this show, and no doubt his deep antipathy towards guns. And as I mentioned last week, I’ll be there too, speaking about the evolution of my work from my residency in the UK in 2011 until today, namely all of the protest art (including the pieces about/with guns) that I have created over this period.

Phew, heavy topics.

OK, we’re in dark times, and sometimes you just need a breather. This is not something I would normally share, but I think it’s time to take a moment to contemplate a (very) simple joy:

For anyone experiencing grief

Something for people who are grieving today.

I feel for you, I really do, if you are grieving right now. I’ve had a pretty intense year myself, and I thought I’d share my favourite distractions as well as a thoughtful speaker/sharer on the topic.

1/ The Great British Bake Off/ The Great British Baking Show

I have watched all 7 series, multiple times, in the last 12 months. And in that time I have come to realise that the nurturing implied in just watching someone make a cake is strangely healing. (And this from someone who is allergic to 90% of the contents of what they’re usually baking.)

I believe that this is available on PBS and other streaming services (Netflix is where I saw it) and some can be found on YouTube. Start with Season Six (renamed Season Three in the States I think?) if you want a quick reminder of what’s right in the world.

2/ RuPauls Drag Race

You will be surprised at the nurturing vibe this has for a reality show, though it’s never beyond RuPaul and team (Ms Visage, I’m giving you the side-eye here…) to tell their charges when they gotta cut with the tears and WERK! Let Mama Ru challenge, shelter and shower you with praise, via your beautiful and enormously talented queer proxy.

Find this on Logo TV or where I’ve seen all my eps, Amazon Prime.

I also follow local (to Seattle) grief writer Elizabeth Copelan on Twitter, she posts great links and says some beautiful things. And yes, even I can’t believe that I’m recommending reality TV to mend broken hearts, but, like I said, a hell of a year.

It’s ok, together we will get through this. And once you’re ready again, there’s going to be lots of work for everyone!

Now, not to get too far ahead of myself, but my sleepless portion of the night was quite productive. Stay tuned for the profits…

Nadia Myre and Sheryl Oring

Nadia Myre and Sheryl Oring – images used without permission, please contact me should you want them taken down.

Nadia Myre: Indian Act, 1999-2002. Detail.

A couple of great projects I’ve seen online that I thought I’d share.

Thanks to the perfectly titled Fuck Yeah, Book Arts! site, I’ve been meditating on the beautiful beaded works orchestrated by Nadia Myre:

Nadia Myre, Indian Act

Indian Act speaks of the realities of colonization – the effects of contact, and its often-broken and untranslated contracts. The piece consists of all 56 pages of the Federal Government’s Indian Act mounted on stroud cloth and sewn over with red and white glass beads. Each word is replaced with white beads sewn into the document; the red beads replace the negative space.

Between 1999 and 2002, Nadia Myre enlisted over 230 friends, colleagues and strangers to help her bead over the Indian Act. With the help of Rhonda Meier, they organized workshops and presentations at Concordia University, and hosted weekly beading bees at Oboro Gallery, where it was presented as part of the exhibition, Cont[r]act, in 2002.

Nadia Myre: Indian Act, 1999-2002. Detail.

The piece itself is strikingly beautiful, a perfect realisation of her concept.

A fuller description of the project and her method are available at The Medicine Project website, with more (exquisitely beaded!) work and great photos of this project at her website.

Secondly, with thanks to the Creative Capital blog, I bring you the I Wish to Say project by Sheryl Oring!

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In summer 2015, a team of five typists took dictation at the Out of Site Festival in Chicago. Photo: Dhanraj Emanuel

Oring has been banding groups of volunteer typists to write postcards to politicians. She started the project with postcards to the President (of the USA, that is) and has recently moved on to the current presidential candidates, using volunteers to take dictation the same manner that she did with her first outing, dressed as a 1960’s stenographer:

In 2006, Sheryl dressed as a 1960s secretary, set up a portable public office complete with a manual typewriter in public areas across the country, and typed birthday cards to then President Bush as dictated by passers-by.

She has gone on to take in commentary of the Obama administration, and is about to start taking down community thoughts on the current lunacy presidential nomination battle.

and the effect?

I’ll never forget this guy in Chicago, at one of the last shows. He came down to where I was taking photographs and said, “I just want you to know that I am a better American because I participated in your project.”

The empowerment experienced by participants has of course been likened to therapy, which I think is a really interesting outcome of the process. Why does the act of airing your thoughts to someone who is an impartial observer give one a feeling of closure, more than, say, talking it out to a like-minded friend or relative? I also think of this project in relation to the public displays of jewellery creation and/or gifting that I have seen. I think the strength of this piece is its sustained and clearly impactful interaction, which is fostered using a rather generic and easily replicable format.

Sheryl Oring presents I Wish to Say April 26 as part of the PEN World Voices Festival at Bryant Park. You can dictate a letter to presidential candidates, or volunteer to act as a typist.