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 โ€˜makers and smithsโ€™, 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

Live stream q + a soon!

Juukan Tears – wip, 2021

Today! 3 May 10:30 am Perth time or in your zone at:
Auckland – 2:30 pm
New York – 10:30 pm*
Sydney -12:30 pm
Calgary – 8:30 pm*
Los Angeles – 7:30 pm*
/ / /
I’ll be chatting about my work in a live q+a on my YouTube channel*at this live link*
It will remain available to re-stream indefinitely.
Email your queries now, or pop them in the live-chat window as we go.

*Sunday 2nd May

getting close…

me about to fix the camera with documentary film-maker Mir Ng in the background

Have you been checking in to the livestream? I know I have a dedicated fan or two (thank you for watching, sorry about all the noise..!) who look in, so I wanted to let y’all know that we’re getting close to the end. There’s about a week left of regular manufacturing before we switch to fine-tuning, then peeling off the back decals and some photography.

That will all take place in the studio (under your watchful gaze) as I have nowhere else big enough to take the full piece! And yes, Susannah and I have discussed hanging it off the balcony as a test, but ruled it out as we’re worried about the window below.

But for the real tension, stay tuned for the episode where we have to get the complete 4m x 1.3 m hanging out of the building. That’s when the balcony, plastic tarp and ropes come in! Then we have to motor it over to the John Curtin Gallery; that’s going to be quite an event!

We’re still a little way off moving it – I’m yet to source an enclosed truck – as my deadline is August. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to give you a heads up ๐Ÿ˜‰

.. and we’re back

for a couple of days at least..!

Susannah and I will be streaming live from the studio today and tomorrow before we take another quick break this Wednesday to Friday. We will be back to our regular scheduled programming next week; Monday- Friday, 9am – 5pm (or thereabouts) Perth time, with the usual lunch hiatus.

If you get in early enough this morning you’ll se me hit 3,500 linked teardrops (only 1,600 more to go!) You might also get to see Susannah and I share what we got up to on our 4-day hiatus – in my case some very non-canonical jewellery remodeling as part of a commission, and restocking some bracelets. Always good to have a bracelet or two on hand (see what I did there!?!)

Which reminds me! I finally got my copy of the new Nicolas Estrada-edited jewellery look-book New Bracelets. (The Nile link – currently cheapest available in Australia, check shipping tho.) As usual he’s done a great job, and I have a couple of works in there, including some of those pinhole riveted bracelets that I have just restocked, which I do in a plain steel finish (as per the book) as well as a sandblasted texture finish that is heat coloured to a deep purple brown. Check it out on Instagram – I’ll pop up a pic of the latest batch today.

If you’re after the other style in there – the multilayered bracelet joined with my signature tensioned steel cable – you should head over to Tereza Seabra gallery in Lisbon, she currently has the finest collection of them in all the lands!

Livestream up!

Hey hey viewers.

Apologies for the stream being down this morning; there were some technology changes over the weekend which have altered the setup. They have been addressed now so we’re live again here.

Thank you for your patience ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚