Been reading about a project to create a drone-proof city on Polis, which started as, “[A] semi-ironic architectural response to drone warfare.” As a though experiment it’s really interesting, but as a cityscape – my feeling is that it can’t help but feel oppressive. On the flip side, you can have a beautiful and open city but if the state is oppressive/aggressive then the citizenry are still going to notice, and if it’s not your state that is the aggressor, perhaps it’s the only option. I’ve been studying drone warfare for a while now. Those of you on Instagram have seen the work in progress of my drone piece, which will be heading to Canberra in March. Be prepared..!
The other reading I have noted to share is courtesy of that old standard, Kit and Caboodle. I know, been a while, huh? Cate, the coordinator over there popped this on her blog; it’s about a new ‘mining’ (reclaiming) technique for gold, using acetic acid. Yup, vinegar. Awesome!
I’m currently involved in a beautiful online exhibition at the new Garland Magazine. My work has been featured along a slew of other poetic works by craft artists from all over, under the theme Intimate Immensities. The exhibition was curated by OliviaPintos–Lopez, one of the co-creators of the magazine.
I signed up as a supporter of the first edition of the magazine and received a hand-decorated copy hard copy (of my own choosing) of the feature essay, and thus the poised tonal painting of a ballerina by Serideh Karimi that adorns my cover has been displayed proudly in my dining room at the centre of the table since its arrival.
Garland has another open call, this time with the theme of Second Home, listed on their site right now if you are interested in getting involved. The deadline for entries of this juried exhibition close on the 22nd of February. The magazine itself features thoughtful articles by many different contributors, including several by artists.
Keen observers will have noted my name on the list of people speaking at SNAGneXt this year in Asheville. Even keener ones will have noted that a few weeks ago I was near (and briefly in) Asheville, NC, at Penland for a week. Asheville: the neodymium magnet of the Carolinas*…
At the modified and re-branded SNAG conference this year I’m very pleased to have been invited to speak in the SNAGspark portion of the program, where I will be giving a presentation entitled Holistic Thinking: Interconnection in Jewels and Practice. There, amongst a few other things, I’ll share my “tips for maintaining a sustainable creative practice, gleaned from sources near and far.” The basic premise of my talk is that I get around, and in all the places I go, I’ve noticed a few common threads that help make for robust communities (first hint) and economically sustainable jewellery practices.
For those of you who are currently looking into coming to SNAG this year, it would be a wasted opportunity if you didn’t also go and visit the famed and newly renovated Penland Galleries while you’re in town. And because I am always in service to you, beloved reader, I am happy to provide you with one more excuse to take the hour-long drive into the mountains to finally see Penland for yourself, as showing there during May and part of June will be the Shared Concerns exhibition, which was the reason for my first Asheville visit earlier this year.
So, #SharedConcerns? What’s that all about?
Shared Concerns is an exhibition documenting the meeting of a group of artists, brought together to work in the Penland studios in the mountains of North Carolina. As a group they shared the intimate ‘concerns’ of their practice, and each has created a small suite of works that interprets the ‘concern’ of another group member. Pieces were begun during their Winter Residency at Penland, and finished in studios across the United States as well as in Australia and Denmark, where this diverse group of jewelry artists call home.
We spent a very short week with one another as participants in the Penland Winter Residency where we shared a studio, traded concerns to work on and enjoyed some profoundly creative times (as well as some amazing food) all on the Penland campus. We don’t know when we will meet again, but what we do know is that the work we began together will be completed over the coming months, and will go on show in the Penland Galleries in May, just in time to be seen by anyone visiting Asheville for SNAGneXt. From there the works will head on to Velvet da Vinci gallery in San Francisco for the opening of Shared Concerns there on the 1st of July, and from there it will travel internationally in 2017.
So if you’re coming to Asheville for SNAGneXt, be sure to set aside some time to see the best of this beautiful and creative city, drink some coffee (or at one of the supposedly *9* microbreweries in town) and head to Penland to see our Shared Concerns exhibition.
* Now, you realise that my getting around doesn’t usually mean dropping into Asheville twice in a six-month period, but they served me the best cup of decaf soy I’ve had since I was last in Melbourne (Cafe Vue, Melbourne Airport, April 2015) while I was there with the #SharedConcerns crew, so you know I have to go back. (This will be hot on the heels of another Melbourne visit *spoiler alert*, so the comparison will be more robust. Suffice to say, if it holds its own again, I’m thinking of moving…)
The Heat Exchange Exhibition is in Scotland at St Andrews Museum, Fife, and to coincide with the final weeks that it is there on display, there is a symposium on Friday the 19th of February:
“The event will begin at St Andrews Museum (Kinburn Park, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, KY16 9DP) with registration and an informal tour of the exhibition, Heat Exchange II. The remaining part of the event then takes place at the Byre Theatre (Abbey Street, St Andrews, KY16 9LA)
I’d encourage you to hit the link above to get along but the event is now fully booked, but you can get in touch via that link in order to be put on the wait list.
If you’re no where near the show you can see images of all the works installed at the first Cardiff incarnation of the exhibition on the Heat Exchange website here and here. My favourite at the moment is the collaboration between partners Cath Fairgrieve and Andy Griffiths.
The Society of North American Goldsmiths magazine, Metalsmith, has an annual juried ‘Exhibition in Print’. Appearing as Issue 4 of the 5 it publishes each year, the EIP alternates between being led by a guest curator (as in Issue 4 of Volume 35 last year, which was curated by Wendy Steiner) and juried by a small and influential team, who this year consists of Eva Eisler (designer and jeweler), Lauren Fensterstock (artist and curator) and native Seattleite, Lori Talcott (jeweler and educator).
Now here’s a couple of insights into how at least I envisioned the Shifting Sites concept when we (the Metalsmith Advisory Committee of last May, Suzanne Pugh, Biba Schutz, Cindi Strauss, Angela Bubash, myself and of course our fearless editor Suzanne Ramljak) came up with the central theme for this issue. I have a page of notes from our conversation, but here’s just a couple of ideas that I hope might resonate with people looking to apply to this call out:
From my perspective, as an ex-interior architect, the term site is really loaded with notions of physical space – locations, landscapes and environments. So the works might address architecture and the environment in some way – be that in an external sense, like objects that invoke or reflect the built environment, or more in terms of the body – how the site of jewellery is permanently a shifting site, or even more internally, how the wearing of a jewel may change the context of the wearer, or even that of the actual jewel as it is re-positioned or re-contextualised, in some way when in its worn state.
Another way of looking at it that we wanted to address by choosing this theme, was that of sites of production. That the shifting could be part of the craft of the object, and movement invoked in its evolution could be felt or even be expressed its final form.
The word shifting is itself a moving target, when used in its sense of evolution, change, movement or transfer, it can itself mutate. A work that speaks to any of these shifts, be they so small as to be almost imperceptible, or the opposite, big and grand gestures of transformation, are all able to come together under this banner. In fact it even covers an object that has adopted a shifting as its ‘mission in potentia’, for example when the intention that guided its creation and adoption is to help to promote a shifting site/state within the owner/user/wearer/viewer, the prime example of this being an amulet or talisman.
The diversity of meanings we hope would enable many makers to find a way to align what they do with this theme, to allow our jurors a rich and diverse array of makers to work with in piecing together the final exhibition. I hope that you might think of gathering some images of your works together to show to our jury, and I wish you luck in finding your pieces exhibited in that eternally shifting site, the Metalsmith Magazine August edition.