other deadlines

Melissa shares upcoming competition deadlines, and HAIR JEWELLERY!

There are a couple of competitions I’ve found recently; The St George Art Awards in Hurstville, NSW which I have entered, and another from the US titled the Artspace Contemporary Fine Craft National Exhibition, which I’m not sure I’ll get to by the deadline. I’m still busy finishing up my entries for Schmuck and my Craft Victoria application…

But in finding out about the Hurstville St George Art Awards, I stumbled upon this; some hair jewellery in their permanent collection. While I don’t think I could wear it (not because I’m that choosy – I routinely wear a coaster, but for the significance of wearing the hair of someone I don’t know), I think it’s quite beautiful.

artists getting crafty – and vice versa

Seeking an alternative to gallery shows is easy now that the Fringe is on! Melissa finds two to check out in late September 2010.

It’s the Fringe Festival down here in (finally) sunny Melbs, so there are a few irregular happenings going down. I’ve had cause, and occasion, over the weekend to peruse the full festival programme. I found within a couple of interesting exhibitions, happening in spaces other than galleries, which were enough to get me thinking.

First up, Home is where the Craft is is happening in Cate Lawrence’s home. While the exhibition text on the Fringe site is a little all over the place, it does pose an interesting – and possibly somewhat confronting – opportunity to see a home as an alternative exhibition venue. I’m all for opening up my own place as a venue for collaboration or even craft gatherings (and of course it is routinely scattered with the detritus of my own artistic operations), but to have a bunch of strangers into my most private space for an exhibition? I plan on seeing the show this week to see how comfortable – or otherwise – this experience turns out to be.

Second up is a street based show called Subversion Therapy by artist Nick Ilton. He will also be exhibiting at Off The Kerb Gallery simultaneously, just in case all the other pieces disappear one must assume? I think the insurance policy is maybe unnecessary, but I guess we’ll soon see what stays and what goes…

For this show the potential ‘audience’ can sign up to a text message service (I wonder how expensive this will get? Better or worse than printing up invites?) to have the location of each work sms’d to them.

I think it’s really interesting to interrogate the idea that showing art involves placing it in a gallery. And Melbourne, with its protected graffiti and laneway commissions, seems a good place to just try putting it out there, to see what happens. What else can I say? I’ve signed up! See you on the streets…


…and in news just to hand, via text message this morning I have been told that there is also a blog, and today’s location is “lygon st argyle square carlton”.

Part B!

Melissa details the next of Part B’s movements…

This month is a special edition of Part B, on Sunday the 3rd of October. As a part of Mari Funiaki’s show Objects at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne there is an extensive programme of events, one of which falls the day after what would have been the next Part B date.

We’re planning to have a chat after Otto Künzli concludes his lecture: With Mari, which takes place on the 3rd of October from 2:30pm at the NGV, Federation Square. This is a ticketed event, so you have to ring the gallery to purchase a ticket beforehand. The Particles will hang around in the foyer afterward, and go for coffee nearby. Hope to see you there!

Some previous excursions:
September, August, June 2010.

turns out god *is* in the detail…

Corrections and more – Melissa realises Mies was right, God *is* in the detail…

I see that Marcus Westbury has been linking up all his recent articles on arts policy (which I blogged about earlier this week) and pointing out some of the attention he’s been getting from other quarters. On that, I feel obliged to note that I was wrong in saying that Richard Gill’s article was in response to Westbury’s blog post, it was more in response to a whole bunch of things that Westbury has been getting out there of late. (The dates I mentioned then do hold true, as in the two pieces of writing I mentioned, Gill’s article was out before Westbury’s post.) But Westbury has been busy on that subject of late, as is much better explained in the aforementioned arts policy post.


In some completely unrelated news, there’s been a major theft of works by Michael Berger at Joya in Barcelona. A whopping thirty-eight rings were stolen in a pickpocket attack. My heart really goes out to Michael, as it is a completely awful thing to have happen.

The reason why I’m even posting about this is because I’ve been ruminating on it ever since I read about it a couple of days ago. I saw Berger’s rings in the flesh at Courtesy of the Artist (COTA) while in Sydney last year, and was amazed. They are stunning. And incredibly crafted. I was not surprised to be told that he worked under Friedrich Becker, the pioneer of tension settings and moving jewellery (and the author of an amazing monograph of the subject).

I feel bad for Berger’s loss of his rings, not just in an artist-to-artist, or even human-to-human sense. I feel bad because the tiny-yet-bold objects he created touched me in the brief minutes I spent with them. I hate to think of them lost in the world.  Or worse, dismantled for the value of their constituent parts.

I *heart* my studio

Melissa comes over all romantic towards her studio.

My studio is in St Kilda
It is bounded on two sides by a meatworks
My landlady runs a work-for-the-dole scheme out of a front room. The group is currently painting a mural on a Telstra-owned building at the end of the street.
My desk is propped up to jewellist’s height by: the pallet that my sandblaster came on (on the rhs) and about 40 sheets of cardboard (on the lhs)

The meatworks cleans down its large tubs daily outside one window of my studio, with a high pressure water cleaner.
The noise this generates is too loud for my stereo with The Decemberists, The New Pornographers or Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes to compete with. It is even too loud for Future of the Left.

It is not louder than my hearing protection and air compressor/sandblaster combination. Not on my side of the wall, anyway.

Griffith NCJA 2010

Melissa reveals the other piece she entered into the NCJA in 2010.

After a small amount of confusion, I eventually got the above piece to Griffith, sent the day before the show opened. I had sent another piece (below) two weeks prior to this, as this was the piece that the gallery had asked for. Turns out, when they opened it, they found out that it wasn’t the piece they wanted.

When you get a phone call from the gallery the day before the show opens, the idea that you’ve sent the wrong piece is not the first thing to cross your mind…

The National Contemporary Jewellery Award shows until the 3rd of October at Griffith Regional Art Gallery, 167 Banna Ave, Griffith, NSW.

and the winner is…

cashing in

Melissa shares what has been taking up some bandwidth on her news radar.

I follow Marcus Westbury’s blog and so last week read his post Where Australia Council funding goes – 09/10 version with interest, especially given that I’m just about into the last quarter of my my ArtStart funding from The Australia Council.

Seeing the graph at the top of the post was a real eye opener – I had no idea what got spent where and was surprised to see that the classics get so much support. I’ve been to see an Opera Australia production in the last year or so (these things become much easier when you live in Melbourne rather than lil ole Perth) and thought that it was really well attended, so the idea that it was government funded never crossed my mind.

As always though, the devil (or God, if we’re going by the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe quote) is in the detail, which Westbury provides at the end of his post. Particularly pertinent to me – the Artstart Grant – does not figure in these calculations, nor do two other major sources of funds, Key Organisations and Arts Development (in total , these 3 add up to $22.4 million). But even still, (given that these other funded areas apply across arts and are not broken up into artform, I have to trust that Westbury’s attempt is even-handed) it’s very interesting reading for all those involved in the arts.

And the response seems to have been on-par with it’s interesting-ness. Richard Gill, (who even has a blog, albeit slightly aged) has responded with an article in The Age that calls  Westbury’s original article a “serious attempt… to create an arts debate”, and then ends in a call for more money for everyone. (The dates seem to have the response before the original post, though last week I definitely read them the other way around.)

Well, that’s a great idea too, but with a federal parliament pretty much tied at 0-0 for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t seem a likely option at the moment. As for Gill’s article as a whole, it’s a pure opinion piece which really lacks the punch of the original post, and the weight of the post relies on those figures. On who gets what.

The debate that has continued on over at Wesbury’s blog is really interesting, as people weigh up arts jobs against one another. I don’t want to go into the ‘which arts are more worthy’ argument, but it has made it more evident to me that over at the Australia Council this must happen all of the time, at every single funding round.

I have flicked through the list of recipients of the ArtStart grants at each round, mostly to see if any of my friends have got through (and yes, quite a few of them have) and I always find it makes for some interesting reading. Now knowing that orchestras, classical music and opera gets so much of the pie, I might be paying more attention to the rest of the funding rounds too.