It’s another public holiday today in Perth, and after the uber long weekend I’ll still be on holiday (read: working on unrelated projects in the studio) until the 9th, coming back on the 12th of April.
Looking forward to seeing you – my beloved livestream devotee(s)- then 😉
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:
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their objections to the extension of the mine into the area of the Juukan Shelters for several years, but owing to an outdated WA Government permit system that allows for no objections once a mining permit is issued, and an unequal and paternalistic mining rights negotiation process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.
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.
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??
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.
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)
Select wonderful Christmas* gifts of hand-made jewellery by ContemporaryMetal 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.])
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….
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.