IOTA21

The Indian Ocean Triennial Australia 2021 is coming! I must’ve mentioned it a bit, in passing at least, as my new work Juukan Tears will debut as a part of the festival when it opens in September.

But what is it?

Well, it’s a presentation of new works from a curated selection of artists from all over the Indian Ocean region. To show these works the Indian Ocean Triennial Australia curatorial team has collaborated with two major WA galleries; the Fremantle Arts Centre and the John Curtin Gallery.

And it’s also a huge series of satellite events (which includes the Aussie debut of the Connexions exhibition), and a massive opening weekend and a conference.

Shall we cut to an audio-visual for all-round better explanation?

IOTA21 Artist & Program Launch from IOTA21 on Vimeo.

BTW, if you’re missing my dulcet tones in your ear, stay at least until 45 seconds in, and if you want those sonorous tones (big irony here team, I’m even more high-pitched than usual, shall we say I was attempting to be heard over the waves..?) accompanied by my visage – and hands – (I’m talking with them of course!) stick with it for at least 1 minute!

still from the IOTA21 launch film – my don’t those jewels look familiar?
(lets not even mention the shoes!)

To stay up-to-date with the artists involved and the timetable of events you gotta see the IOTA21 website. And start making your plans to see world-class art all around Perth in September.

the saga of the two tire/tyre rings

If you’d like the opportunity to choose the outcome of the tale of the rings (in typing that I just realised I’ve made a mmp ‘choose your own adventure’ game!) please get in touch. You can comment below, reply by email – or go to my instagram and click on the relevant poll toggles in my stories.

The questions are:

  • to enamel or not to enamel – the ring wants to know
  • should there be 2 rings (should I replace the fabled Seattle ring, aka, ring no.1?)

And the Bilk Brooch Show invite I hyped up in my last post is next, I promise!

The Neck – Craft ACT

Hiya team. Apologies for that last cryptic post – with bonus secret password window – on the main blog stream. I feel like a right fool but now the url is attached to an application I can’t change it until adjudication finishes. If it’s any consolation most of the content was taken from last year’s Everything Must Go, with images taken from yet another post to bulk it out.

And to placate my own ego let me mention that I had managed to add an entire new section to the Works/CV page a little while ago without anyone noticing 😉 That was in lieu of smartening up my website (I’ve given up promising a date for that; soon, just soon) for another application. In that case I was not successful (asking a mining company for funds to protest another mining company was probably seen more as trolling than as a unique artistic concept) but at least the work I did is useful longer-term as an introduction to my current practice.

If you’re new around these parts why not check it out.

And in other news, a recent Craft ACT emailer used my image to promote The Neck, a show I have a work in at the moment. I’ll post their text in full below. I’ll soon be in another show just outside Canberra, thanks to Bilk. More news on that soon.

/ / /

resilience, 2016. flattened firearm, steel chain. melissa cameron.

The Neck //

Buy the works / Catalogue / Video tourArtist biographies + statements / EssayPhoto gallery

Vivien Atkinson | Roseanne Bartley | Macarena Bernal | Vernon Bowden | Zoe Brand | Melissa Cameron | Anna Davern |  Pennie Jagiello | Cara Johnson | Bridget Kennedy | Claire McArdle | Melinda Young

Curator Bridget Kennedy 

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 critique.

Vivien Atkinson is represented by Avid Gallery, Wellington. Melissa Cameron is represented by Bilk Gallery, Canberra.

Juukan Caves Anniversary / Virtual Indigenous Film Fest 2021

Yesterday marks 1 year since the destruction of the Juukan Shelters, a traditional site of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinnikura (PKKP) peoples located in the Pilbara area in the northwest of Western Australia.

If you’ve been following this blog for the last few months you’ll know that I have made the facts of that event; the amount of time that the PKKP peoples had accessed and used the shelters – 46,000 years; the number of holes drilled into the shelters before the PKKP peoples were told of its impending blast – 382; and the reason they were destroyed – for more iron ore; into a large installation made from predominantly recycled steel.

I remember that the shock of finding out about this destruction was all the more galling because it came at the beginning of last year’s Reconciliation Week. This time last year, during the Indigenous Film Festival, I stayed on to see several Q+A’s for just-screened films. I watched as multiple hosts had to engage not only with the content of the films that they were charged with speaking about (generally involving weighty cross-cultural issues themselves), but also the Juukan destruction, as it filtered through the collective consciousness in the week following its detonation. The shock and sadness was all-pervading, and so it made its way into many of the question and answer sessions during the festival.

Watching it unfold in the media against this backdrop was heart-sinking, as here was a fresh way that government and corporate interests in Australia had failed our First Nations community. At the time it was a particularly unwanted extra burden, following as it did a bushfire season that had threatened and then razed so much of the east coast, and during a lockdown for a pandemic that many feared would be particularly serious for First Nations communities here, as many face poorer health outcomes than the general population.

It was immediately protested, and it would become an important fuel for us masked marchers at the Black Lives Matter rallies held here in Perth over last winter. And for me. It was and remains an important fuel for my practice, too.

And having mentioned the Indigenous Film Festival:

[text below from the IFF newsletter of this morning]

There is only 3 days left to secure your spot at the Virtual Indigenous Film Festival for Reconciliation Week 2021! Celebrating a collection of award-winning Indigenous stories, followed by Q&As with special guest speakers including film makers, community leaders and cultural academics. Join us in celebration this Reconciliation Week from 27th-31st May for a week of inspiring stories and inclusive, actionable discussion. 

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements. This year’s theme, #MoreThanAWord reminds us to always be working towards braver and more impactful action so take that action and join this years Virtual Indigenous Film Festival.

Grab an All Access Pass for 50% off all 6 films OR if you are interested in just one film, grab an individual ticket!

fanforcetv.com

and just quietly, I have to acknowledge my financial supporter for the Juukan Tears project:

Thanks to the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries in Western Australia for their financial support of this project

Makers’ Film Festival

I have two short films about recent work in this festival. I know, what am I like?!? Lets hope they get played back-to-back so we can really compare how I aged over the 20 months between their filming…

And yes, my tickets are booked! Come along!

(Teaser and text below courtesy the amazing Maker&Smith website)

An impressive program of 24 short films to pump your beating heart for craft.

A new short film festival all about craft and making, presented by Maker&Smith.

This new collection of films focuses on how we employ the dexterity of our hands to create functional objects, art and to tell the stories of our lives.

Premiere

Sunday 23 May 2021, 3.30-6.30pm
Midland Junction Arts Centre
$35pp

The selection of films encompasses a broad range of craft, design and making disciplines presented in mini documentaries, story-led artist profiles to ingenious animations and music video.

Selected from near and far, the films spotlight the everyday habits and skills of ‘makers and smiths’, they reveal what drives enduring professional practice, and illustrate a diversity in film-making creativity as much as the traditional and contemporary craft approaches.

Disciplines and techniques include:
Basketry, Ceramic Art + Pottery, Costume Design + Making, Fibre Art, Glassmaking, Jewellery + Metalsmithing, Pearl Carving, Puppet Making, Screen + Block Printing, Sound Design + Making, Stop Motion Animation, Textiles, Weaving, and Zoetropes.

Screened in two sessions with an interval, the whole program lasts three hours.

Tickets include interval refreshments.

BOOK your tickets NOW. (unreserved seating)

Today’s Q + A

For your delectation and delight, I present the live stream feed from today, conveniently queued up to the start of our q + a chat! We chatted, we answered questions, we got off topic (prompted by a comment, though) and I ranted, just a little.

As you would guess there’s 1 hr 24 mins of me grinding and making before this point, and after we’re done – there’s about an hour of talking – we get back to same, gradually finishing this piece. In that one hour we’re talking about the process, the reasons why we’re streaming at all, the changes to the studio between streams and how we plan to get this work out of this place and into the gallery, making this a good addition to the original Q + A we did in February (also below, so you can fully appreciate our changing hair styles.)

As you can note even in the screen grabs you see now, the major differences are 1/ the size of the work on the left hand size of the room, and 2/ the fact that today we were masked while talking. It’s not ideal, so I am sorry about that, but we were on schedule to have masks off indoors on when I planned this chat. Owing to a new COVID-19 case, that region-wide directive changed late Saturday afternoon. We got off ok, really, the football had to be played without a live audience so we were just foloowing the same rules, and are obviously just as popular 😉

Thanks for checking in, or at least enjoying the screen grabs, and I’ll be back in touch soon when I finish this piece. Very soon!

xx m

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

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 🙂

Upcoming talk

this picture is just me showing off. it gets worse…

Next Tuesday, the 24th of September, I’m going to be talking to some of y’all at the JMGA WA monthly meeting. If you’re not across it but you’re in the WA area (visitors welcome, just let me know and I’ll look out for you) you’re hereby invited to come hear and see what I’ve been up to over the last couple of years, jewel-wise.

It’s on at 7:30 pm@ WA Lapidary and Rock-hunting Club 
31/35 Gladstone Road, Rivervale WA 6103 

As for the photo, this was taken by Helen Aitken-Kuhnen (*clang* first name drop) at last weekend’s masterclass with these legends of jewellery in Australia. For the finished product of David Walker’s endeavours (as you might expect, he put us all to shame with his work ethic and the quality of his output), and to hear me spill the tea about another jewellery-legend that I lunched with this week (*hint* he’s over from Europe [just…] and been at #RadPav and The Jam in the last week) you’d better get in on time to claim a seat.

In all honesty, I could fill my time just talking about the last two weeks. BTW, does anyone know how much time I have??

Adorn and Driven to Adorn

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