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 😉

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

Juukan Tears

wip, February 2021

In May of 2020 mining company Rio Tinto destroyed the Juukan Shelters, containing sacred caves that had been in use by the traditional custodians of that part of (what we now call) Western Australia, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) peoples, for over 46,000 years. The Shelters were in the remote Pilbara region of WA, and were located within the Brockman 4 mine, one among Rio Tinto’s 16 iron ore mines in the region. The PKKP had registered their objections to the extension of the mine into the area of the Juukan Shelters for several years, but owing to an outdated WA Government permit system that allows for no objections once a mining permit is issued, and an unequal and paternalistic mining rights negotiation process that effectively gags First Nation recipients of mining money, their cries went unheeded.

Since then the blast has received significant public outcry and media attention in Australia and been subject to a government inquiry, not least because recent archaeological excavations had found ancient human hair, proving continual human use of the shelters for 46,000 years.

Western Australia is home to Rio Tinto Iron Ore, and its capital, Perth, the city where I live, boasts the Rio Tinto office tower (also known as Central Park) as its tallest building. In a relatively small and topographically flat city it is visible from many kilometers away, including from my house – and my studio space – in North Perth.

My response to the shameful destruction of sacred sites and continued silencing of our First Nations people, (not to mention the over representation of environmental abusers like Rio Tinto in the skyline of Perth), is this work, with the working title Juukan Tears. It is a piece in two sections, the largest a wall hanging approximately 4m (13′) tall by 1.3m (4.3′) wide, the second section being a group 46 chains that are each approximately 1.8m long. It is made out of recycled custom orb, a common fencing and building material made from galvinised steel, which was previously the siding and roofing material of my back shed. (Image at this post.)

The first and larger part of the work contains a rendering of the Rio Tinto headquarters in Perth, with line-work “drawn” in different amalgamations of teardrop shapes. The second piece makes use of the 4,600 teardrop shapes, representing 10% of the 46,000 years of history lost when the Juukan Shelters were destroyed last May, to make chains of tears. Groups of 100 teardrops are joined to make 46 chains that will be hung next to the drawing, which combined makes approximately 80m (260′) of chain.

The drawing, or wall hanging, is itself also cut into 382 rectangular forms, to represent all of the holes drilled into the Juukan Shelters on the Brockman 4 mine site before the “Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura Traditional Owners were made aware of the planned blast on May 15.” Within the background, using length and order of these 382 pieces, is depicted a message in a modified version of Morse Code. When decoded it reads: “46,000 year old Juukan shelters destroyed for…iron ore”

As mentioned previously, this work will debut at the John Curtin Gallery at Curtin University for the Indian Ocean Triennial Australia – IOTA21 – in September 2021.

I am grateful to the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries in Western Australia for their financial support of this project, and to the IOTA and John Curtin Gallery curatorial teams for their support of this work and my greater practice.

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??

Wanneroo Community Art Awards

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 😉 )

East-side shows

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

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

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

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