way back when

Melissa and Chloe collaborate. Fun for all the family!

The girl with shopping bag, 2010. Chloe Vallance and Melissa Cameron.

Way back in March I sent out the teaser that Chloe Vallance and I had enjoyed collaborating on a spoon piece for the One Cup exhibition at Hand Held Gallery, so that people should “Look out for some more shared works in the future.”

As you can see in the image above, we have been true to those words. With still over one month until the opening at Hand Held Gallery I thought I’d share some of the works and the process  of our collaborative exhibition.

Chloe has (mostly) finished her part, so it’s now up to me to finish up the details on the jewellery and object works in my studio. It’s been really fun for me to interact with all her little people; finding homes for them amongst my own patterns and forms.

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Since we are working on these objects in our separate studios, we went on several trips to gather materials, and after working on these we then arranged clandestine meetings where we could swap our packages of pieces.

These semi-impromptu gatherings, to trade parcels of newly festooned objects, were enacted more like a child’s birthday party – big smiles, hugged greetings then stright down to the business of unwrapping gifts. We shared the nervous excitement of co-conspirators, and we delighted in seeing what each other would bring to the party. The excitement of a finished work, while being awe-struck by the talent of the other, kept the smiles on our faces and giggles tumbling from our mouths.

This state of expectation was half the fun; I never could guess what she would have done with the pieces I instigated, nor did I expect the surprise in her face when she saw what I had done with those begun by her. The tools and tricks of the jeweller surprised her often, while the scale and imagery invoked in her drawings still have me musing at her creativity and daring.

At this stage I have been left alone to finish up many of the works – the nature of jewellery and of our collaboration has had me working alone on the final details. But soon we will meet to share the finished objects. I can’t wait!

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