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

Melbourne and Perth and Sydney – events to get y’all out of the studio

Short films and a performance; crafting experience as well as the object

Last Friday night I went to the Real to Reel Craft Film Festival here in Perth and it was incredible! Presented by local craft heroes Maker & Smith (organisers of workshops, talks and other beautifully thought-out and executed events) it is screening again this Friday night in Perth at Camelot Cinema. The fest is then touring to Melbourne – end of this month – and Sydney – early next – so check out that first link for dates. I love a short film fest, and this was one for the ages.

Also in Melbourne you have the Su san Cohn performance Meaninglessness in the middle of this month. Please go, it looks to be another powerful presentation from one of Australia’s finest jewellery thinkers. I look forward to living vicariously.

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…

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 😉 )

Adorn and Driven to Adorn

Joondalup Art Gallery showcasing jewellery as a craft in March 2019

Happy New Year!

My studio is finally back on line after a 5-month hiatus, during which time Bruce and I have moved country, sold a house in the USA, bought a house in Australia, made some minor renovations to the place and celebrated the closing of a year and the beginning of a new one. I did not stop working entirely but I did take advantage of the studio down-time to slow down a bit. The year proceeding the move was intense, but it was planned that way knowing that there would be some down-time immediately after our US exit, which in the end worked great.  It has taken a month since the unpacking began to get my office and studio back in working order, and while I have a few tweaks left to do for full functionality in the studio (anyone have a drill press or air compressor going cheap?) the non-studio work on upcoming exhibitions and other events never really ceased. Which brings me to the latest news:

The Adorn exhibition and Driven to Adorn forum

The Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia – Western Australian (JMGAWA) branch is hosting a member exhibition at the City of Joondalup Art Gallery from 18 March-12 April 2019, and local craft thinker Carola Akindele-Obe of Maker and Smith is presenting a day of conversation with well-known local makers to coincide with the show on 24 March. And if that’s not enough, local legends Sarah Elson and Claire Townend will be teaching one-day classes of their respective specialties the following weekend; cuttlebone casting and enameling. I learned how to cast with Sarah in high school – in an uncharacteristic display I believe I drew and made a butterfly (in a surprise twist I was not actually influenced by Sarah’s superb Moth series as I believe they came later) – while Claire was my teacher when I went back to Curtin to dabble in jewellery in 2005. I’d not be where I am today without these two engaging instructors who are also thoughtful makers.

The Driven to Adorn conversation on March 24th will feature Katherine Kalaf, who in her Cottesloe gallery played host to significant international artist including – very memorably – the recent Loewe Prize shortlisted artist Giovanni Corvaja. Katherine’s space and the makers she attracted were an inspiration to me in my early career, and she was one of my first stockists. After Katherine’s presentation the Driven to Adorn forum will move into a 6×6 presentation, in which I will be one of the six local makers to present six minutes on an aspect of their practice. The full listing of ‘sixers’ for the afternoon is:

Melissa Cameron, Sarah Elson, Susannah Kings-Lynne, Bethamy Linton, Claire Townsend and Alister Yiap

Adorn

Joondalup Art Gallery
4/48 Central Walk, Joondalup WA 6027
18 March – 12 April 2019

Tuesday – Thursday: 10am to 2pm
Friday: 10.30am to 2.30pm

Driven to Adorn

2-5pm 24 Mar 2019 (Includes afternoon tea and an invitation to a viewing of the Adorn exhibition after the forum)
Joondalup Reception Centre, Boas Avenue, Joondalup
Places are limited to 30 and there are 16 spots left (as of 15.2.19)

DRIVEN TO ADORN – a forum for craft conversations

East-side shows

big love for small business

The coasts with the mosts…

For those of you in Sydney head to Bridget Kennedy Project Space TONIGHT! for her year-end celebrations, and you can bag yourself a very rare ‘73’ pendant. They’re also available at Bilk in Canberra (and they have a few new pieces from me in their current ‘White Christmas’ show which opened last Saturday), at Bini in Melbourne and at Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh.

The pendants commemorate the 73 lives lost to gun violence in the USA on 1.1.2017. 

The Perth things

A couple of shows to see if you’re in Perth

Checking the date stamps will tell you that this post has been a month in the making, so thankfully I do have something pretty special to share for the elapsed time. Last week we had an offer accepted on a new house – 6 weeks to the day after arriving in Perth. It settles in January, so then we’ll finally be able to unpack our shipping container (which is now in storage) and I’ll be able to set up my studio and get back to work in earnest. In the mean time I’ve been compelled and coerced into a couple of seasonal shows.

For my fellow West-Australians, I’m going to be at two exhibition openings/Christmas parties on the 7th of December, where I’ll be showcasing some enamel works that I brought back to the country with me. For my fellow Perthlings and the nearby Freo dwellers, this is the first time that my works have been on display west-side since 2014. Catch you early at:

Galvanise
Artsource Member Exhibition
Opening 6pm – 8pm and running until January 5.
Old Customs House
8 Phillimore Street, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
Open 10am – 4pm daily, excepting December 24-28, (these dates inclusive)

Then later at:

Contemporary Metal Christmas Drinks

 Select wonderful Christmas* gifts of hand-made jewellery by Contemporary Metal practitioners and W.A. contemporary jewellers.

6pm-8:30pm, December 7th – one night only!
Unit 6 · 77-79 Howe Street
Osborne Park, WA 6019

In the first exhibition see some enamel pieces that have never been sighted on this side of the country, and in the Contemporary Metal show, some pieces never before seen on these shores.

 

(*why do Aussies, and I’d probably add Brits in there too, use Christmas as the all-encompassing seasonal word, often notwithstanding their own religious denomination, while the US and Canada say Holiday/s? All answers accepted. [Including – you’re clearly white trash, Melissa, we don’t use that Christian word here.])

Oh Pittsburgh

My Pittsburgh friends, my heart goes out to you. And to everyone in the USA who is continually subjected to these traumas.

Today I was just going to share the articles from Contemporary Craft’s (CC’s) latest email circular about the Transformations exhibition. But there’s another mass shooting to address first, in Squirrel Hill, just a few neighbourhoods across from The Strip District where CC is currently located. In the reporting I read, the shooter “used three Glock 357 handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle” to murder 11 people and injure four police officers.

The victims are:

“Joyce Fienberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65, Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and his brother David Rosenthal, 54; married couple Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69.”

America, I know you know this, but your right to bear arms comes with the implicit flip-side; an expectation that you, your friend, your lover, your child….

Deep breath in.

Sigh.

 

The articles that talk about the Transformations work are one by M. Thomas, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Jordan Snowden of the Pittsburgh City Paper. Thank you to both writers, and especially M. Thomas for the research you did, and for quoting this blog.

Exhibition – IMAGINE on tour

Continuing the tour of this important anti-gun-violence exhibition

The Boris Bally coordinated exhibition IMAGINE Peace Now has continued to gain relevance as it has toured the USA. It now makes its home at Radius Gallery in Santa Cruz, where Ann Hazels, the director, has made the bold move of showing it in time for the midterm elections in the USA. We are all of us, here in the rest of the world, crossing our fingers for you my USA people.

And if you want to go see the exhibition, (mentioned on here lot in the last two years) please see the address and important dates below.

Open from October 11- November 11, 2018
October 25: Peace Panel – partnering with SCPD and Resource Center for Non-violence
November 11: Artist Talk 2pm (also closing day of show)

Part of the Tannery Arts Center
1050 River St Unit 127
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 12:00-5:00 pm