Spoke too soon…

The 2016 exhibiotn of Body Politic closes at Bilk Gallery in Canberra on the 30th of April. Get along quick!

1200 Shot Round (breastplate), 11 RPH Cannon (brooch)
1200 Shot Round (breastplate), 11 RPH Cannon (brooch)

…so last week when I said that Saturday the 23rd of April would be the last day that the exhibition Body Politic would be visible at Bilk Gallery? Well I spoke too soon! The latest from Gallery Bilk, or more specifically, their Instagram, is that the show will close on the 30th of April. That’s right – there’s one more week to get along to see the show 😉

(I know, most of you can’t get to Canberra, so please enjoy the new images above!)

Nadia Myre and Sheryl Oring

Nadia Myre and Sheryl Oring – images used without permission, please contact me should you want them taken down.

Nadia Myre: Indian Act, 1999-2002. Detail.

A couple of great projects I’ve seen online that I thought I’d share.

Thanks to the perfectly titled Fuck Yeah, Book Arts! site, I’ve been meditating on the beautiful beaded works orchestrated by Nadia Myre:

Nadia Myre, Indian Act

Indian Act speaks of the realities of colonization – the effects of contact, and its often-broken and untranslated contracts. The piece consists of all 56 pages of the Federal Government’s Indian Act mounted on stroud cloth and sewn over with red and white glass beads. Each word is replaced with white beads sewn into the document; the red beads replace the negative space.

Between 1999 and 2002, Nadia Myre enlisted over 230 friends, colleagues and strangers to help her bead over the Indian Act. With the help of Rhonda Meier, they organized workshops and presentations at Concordia University, and hosted weekly beading bees at Oboro Gallery, where it was presented as part of the exhibition, Cont[r]act, in 2002.

Nadia Myre: Indian Act, 1999-2002. Detail.

The piece itself is strikingly beautiful, a perfect realisation of her concept.

A fuller description of the project and her method are available at The Medicine Project website, with more (exquisitely beaded!) work and great photos of this project at her website.

Secondly, with thanks to the Creative Capital blog, I bring you the I Wish to Say project by Sheryl Oring!

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In summer 2015, a team of five typists took dictation at the Out of Site Festival in Chicago. Photo: Dhanraj Emanuel

Oring has been banding groups of volunteer typists to write postcards to politicians. She started the project with postcards to the President (of the USA, that is) and has recently moved on to the current presidential candidates, using volunteers to take dictation the same manner that she did with her first outing, dressed as a 1960’s stenographer:

In 2006, Sheryl dressed as a 1960s secretary, set up a portable public office complete with a manual typewriter in public areas across the country, and typed birthday cards to then President Bush as dictated by passers-by.

She has gone on to take in commentary of the Obama administration, and is about to start taking down community thoughts on the current lunacy presidential nomination battle.

and the effect?

I’ll never forget this guy in Chicago, at one of the last shows. He came down to where I was taking photographs and said, “I just want you to know that I am a better American because I participated in your project.”

The empowerment experienced by participants has of course been likened to therapy, which I think is a really interesting outcome of the process. Why does the act of airing your thoughts to someone who is an impartial observer give one a feeling of closure, more than, say, talking it out to a like-minded friend or relative? I also think of this project in relation to the public displays of jewellery creation and/or gifting that I have seen. I think the strength of this piece is its sustained and clearly impactful interaction, which is fostered using a rather generic and easily replicable format.

Sheryl Oring presents I Wish to Say April 26 as part of the PEN World Voices Festival at Bryant Park. You can dictate a letter to presidential candidates, or volunteer to act as a typist.

Body Politic – last days

It’s to late not to sound like a broken record, so here goes (*in pleading voice*) go see my shooow!

Attempts to Kill... - as worn by the artist
Attempts to Kill… – as worn by the artist

It’s too late not to sound like a broken record, so here goes:

It’s the last week to see my exhibition at Bilk Gallery, and owing to the fabulous support shown to me and my work by the good people of Canberra, it’s the last time you will see this complete collection of work together anywhere! It closes on the 23rd of April, this Saturday.

The ever-involved Meredith Hinchliffe has also reviewed the show for City Arts. Many thanks to her for her support. Also artist Nigel Lendon, who opened my exhibition, has a great website/blog, and writes about his collection of rugs from Afghanistan with militaristic motifs at this post The Afghan Modern @RKD.

Art work by Melissa Cameron, Drone, from the Escalation series. Title: “Attempts to kill..."
Title: “Attempts to kill…” Melissa Cameron, 2016. From the Escalation series, 2013-2016

The piece that its pictured in worn and unworn configurations, above, is one half of the Drone work.

Drone

The work is made from a steel tortilla pan sourced from Mexico City in 2014. The pan was cut down to 5mm x 5mm ’tiles’, each with a 0.8mm hole drilled into the centre. Then pieces were enamelled, in all about half of the over 1400 units. The enamelled and non-enamelled individual tiles are laid out in a sequence of ASCII characters that have been converted to binary. The encoded message for the Attempts to kill… piece reads:

“Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of 24 November [2014].” S. Ackerman on US drone activity in Pakistan and Yemen, on theguardian.com

while the companion piece, made from the drone-shaped section excised from this work, spells out the name of that piece: General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper UAV

“The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (formerly named Predator B) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remote controlled or autonomous flight operations, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems primarily for the United States Air Force… The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance.”[1]

[1] “General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper,” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, January 1, 2015, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=General_Atomics_MQ-9_Reaper&oldid=639809793.

Body Politic in the Canberra Times

If you’re in Canberra you can pick up a newspaper with me in it today 😉

from the 2015 Caltrops series - 19C Caltrop, 20C Caltrop and 21C Caltrop
from the 2015 Caltrops series – 19C Caltrop, 20C Caltrop and 21C Caltrop

Kerry-Anne Cousins has written a piece, published today in The Canberra Times, about my Body Politic exhibition at Bilk Gallery, entitled Body Politic by Melissa Cameron at Bilk Gallery is confronting. Check it out online, or in your local newspaper if you happen to live in Canberra.