Garland Magazine

I had a piece published last month in Garland Magazine’s 25th issue Craft Currencies – Value is in our own hands. Editor Dr Kevin Murray saw the work and asked me to write about the series Juukan Tears Offcuts that I made last year, through the lens of high/low, rich/poor, gallery/gift shop craft. It is an interesting series to talk about the links/divide between strata of craft, especially because the main work, Juukan Tears, was in the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial while the Offcuts were in the gift shop right across from it. To give a broader perspective I was able to reach out to fellow artist and purchaser of one of the Offcuts works Tanya Lee to talk about the impact and ramifications of having both sets of works in the same space.

You can read the article here. I also encourage you to read the piece by Bridget Kennedy about her practice too, it’s great to have a bunch of stories about her makings and happenings collected in the one place. She’s the issues designated Thinker Maker, and it’s a title she has well earned. Did you know she was also recently elected as a Councillor of Lane Cove in NSW? Community connection is her practice and her life.

While on the subject of Garland Magazine, you can also follow their socials to see the guest posts that I will be contributing over a couple of months, starting this week. Thematically linked to the current issue, the posts have the expected jewellery skew but will hopefully include a couple of sharp-ish turns from the usual line.

So far I’ve chatted with the amazing Jillian Moore, a colleague whose ideas I love, and work I own, from Iowa in the USA. Jillian has recently set up a Patreon to support her studio practice, to claw back some income from all the content that she, like most artists, produce for free that is distributed by the less-than-generous social media algorithms. Like so many makers she needed a bump to get back in her studio after a rough pandemic-induced financial year, and has found a way to give more, and get more, on her own terms.

Melissa wears her Jillian Moore brooch, Tangle with Nugget and D-Nut. Photo Melissa Cameron, 2021

Talkfest 2021

Here we go…

The Value Chains JMGA online conference begins tomorrow evening (AEST) with Simon Cottrell, the co-chair of the original and postponed conference, and includes Roseanne Bartley, Claire McArdle, Julia Wild, Jonathan Zalakos and Joanna Zellmer. This is followed by matt lambert with “Other People’s Business: What makes a material new and what does it mean to use a material from someone else’s value chain?” In their talk matt will invite individual presentations by Kelly Macdonald, Victoria Mcintosh, Zoe Brand with a panel discussion chaired by matt. Can’t wait to see them, they’ve moved country to pursue their PhD since we last met face-to-face!

what a way to kick off, no?

Successive weeks and months will see a host of other jewellers from all over, obviously predominantly from Aus/NZ, gracing our screens. Representing WA on the 21st of September will be Sarah Elson and I, speaking about our new works on display (by then) as a part of IOTA21. Tickets for the whole series are available now and the lineup is listed at the Garland website. I am told that the Airmeet platform will be able to replay sessions on demand.

Speaking of IOTA21 and September…

I will be part of a panel at the IOTA21 Futuring Craft Conference. “Gestures of Welcome; exploring jewellery as a gesture of welcome in response to Australian immigration policy” is conveyned by Belinda Newick, and includes on the panel contemporary jewellers; Mel Young (NSW), Lauren Simeoni (SA), Vicki Mason (VIC), Melissa Cameron (WA); CEO of Museum of Freedom and Tolerance, Shaheen Hughes (WA) and another speaker TBC.

FYI – the conference runs in Fremantle and Bentley to take in both IOTA venues, so on Friday the 17th it’s at the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle, while on Sat it’s at at Curtin University. We’ll be speaking Saturday, 18 September 12:00 pm – 12:55 pm, Room 201 BLDG 501 – Education Building. Tickets here, more info (oh yeah, and there’s a fashion show at Boola Bardip on Sunday too!) at the link above!

You’ll have hopefully seen about town that the Fremantle Arts Centre opening of IOTA21 will be on Friday the 17th, (conference day 1), and I have it on good authority that the John Curtin Gallery (JCG) opening will be happening the week before. I also have penciled in for the JCG opening weekend a Sunday artists and curators talk at the Gallery, on the 12th of September. (That’s still subject to final confirmation, so keep that one on the down low for now, ok?)

And in case you haven’t heard enough from me…

Connexions is finally going to have its grand peacock moment, when the now-expanded exhibition debuts at Gallery Central at Northwest Metropolitan Tafe on Thursday the 30th of September, from 5:30pm. For the opening night we are excited to have secured Australian jewellery luminary Katherine Kalaf to kick of proceedings. Following on from that, we have our artist talk in the gallery on Saturday the 2nd of October at 12pm (hopefully including a zoom component – stay tuned for further details). Further dates and times for the show at the IOTA21 website.

And once I’m done with all that I’ll be taking a vow of silence!

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.

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

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

MJW/Schmuck week 2018

fuck□this□president□and□the□regime□he□rode□in□on, stainless steel, vitreous enamel, titanium. 2017

This is one of my works that will feature in the exhibition In Touch, curated by Anja Eichler and Katja Toporski, taking place in the week we like to call Munich Jewellery Week (we’re #61 on their map) beginning this Wednesday in beautiful Munich.

Our list of artists is really impressive: Anja Eichler, Catarina Hällzon, Lore Langendries, Moniek Schrijer, Anneleen Swillen, Katja Toporski, Mallory Weston, and of course me, Melissa Cameron.

The show is on at – »Verein für Originalradierung« Ludwigstrasse 7, 80539 Munich
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 5 – 9pm
Opening hours: Thu – Sat 10am – 7pm, Sun 10am – 2pm.

Please go along and say “G’day!” to Katja and Anja for me, and congratulate them on pulling this whole wonderful thing together. They’ve done an amazing job at artist-wrestling and installing. [Insert rapturous applause from Seattle.]  And if you are in Munich – and I know who some of you are already – stay warm, and have a whale of a time!

Nancy’s Sewing Basket is closing

This is my favourite room in all of Seattle:

I’ve written about this place before, because I love it, and it’s chief inhabitant (at least in the hours that I visit), the dedicated 77 year old ribbon mistress Susan Pasco.

But now it’s closing. I’ve been in three times since I got the email, and no doubt I’ll sneak in one more time before it closes. In one of my missions I bought a yard of wool binding that I promptly used on a Halloween jewel (see instagram). On finishing that piece I quick-marched back up there to get some more. On the second trip I got 3 yards, then Susan, having remarked on liking the colour both times she measured it out for me, said she was “Going to deep six the rest of this.” and piled it behind her, then shuffled papers over it. I look forward to what she makes out of it – more likely a suit than jewellery.

Anyway, the ribbon room does not look like that photo (from 2015) any longer,  it’s been well depleted already, but if you do want to stock up on vintage grosgrain, this might be your last chance.

Goodbye, dear friend.

Save

Speaking Out Exhibition – opens Wednesday

Speaking Out: Art & Politics in Words
September 27, 2017 – November 10, 2017
Openings: 1-3pm and 5-7pm on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Speaking Out highlights artists who use words as the basis of their work, creating pieces that inspire discussion around topics of political and social justice. What are the words necessary to start the discussion or argument, to pull people together or apart? How can language be used to share, to trivialize or to provoke? Can a word help you to see what it is like in the shoes of another? And how can a word of indifference end a discussion? We hope that you will see the work in the gallery as a starting place for conversation around topics that are highlighted in current events and contemporary activism.

Participating Artists:
Antonius Bui
Melissa Cameron
Satpreet Kahlon
Deborah Faye Lawrence
Holly Martz
Hanako O’Leary
Spooky Boobs Collective
Chris Walla
Matthew Whitney

Please come meet us at the second opening on Wednesday!

Enamel workshop and talk – next week

HEAT II in stainless steel, vitreous enamel and titanium, 2016. Image of the wall work and brooch, as installed at Arrowmont.

There’s a day or so left to register for my upcoming workshop in Oakland next week:

Enameling Recycled Steel for Jewelry and Objects – a workshop with Melissa Cameron

I will be sticking around in Oakland to attend day one of a weekend of large scale enameling at KVO Industries on the 9th, which is super-exciting. Knowing that I have plans to make some more panel-based works in the next year or so for a show in the UK, I’m looking to up my large-format game, and since Judy Stone at the Center for Enamel Art – all-round champion of enamel and artists – suggested I do it, how could I refuse? Not that my moderate-panel game appears to be too shabby, as I recently won a prize for Wall Works (for the above) in the Enamelist Society Alchemy 4 Juried Exhibition!

I’ll also be giving a free public lecture next Wednesday night at California College of the Arts:

“From a tamper-proof fence to Body Politic – my enamel journey so far” 7:30pm, Nahl Hall, Oakland Campus, 5212 Broadway (map)

Looking forward to spending time in the heat after just finishing up my Aussie shenanigans of the past few weeks. Northern Summer, come at me!

Going to Munich

spread from Art Aurea

Can’t wait to see my friends at my first international jewellery hook-up (it’s not that kind, please,) for the year, starting next week. If you want to see my work, and it’s just the one, it’s at Schmuck 2017, from the 8th-14th of March, 9:30am – 6pm daily at the International Handwerkmesse, in the Fairground Messe München, Hall B1.

And if you want to see a couple of my mates? Well the best place to see the line up, and what everyone else is up to, is on the Current Obsession website, or better yet in their Paper edition which you can purchase in select places in Munich (of course there’s also the shorter Master Program with metro map here, with thanks to Klimt02). Seek out Claire McArdle’s work in Sextet, opening Thursday March 9 from 6-8pm at Das KloHäuschen. And Zoe Brand will be exhibiting with Atta Gallery in Hall B1 – as a part of the internationally gallery line-up at the IHM. Then there’s Kat Cole in Perfect Strangers, and a tonne more people in Duality of Presence – just look up the CO list, yeah?

Meanwhile, lots of work to finish. Eeep!