So my most recent trip to Aus saw me heading on over to Brisbane for the JMGA conference, which was in fact (despite ancillary benefits) my main purpose for the whole trip. I was scheduled to present my paper on Sunday the 14th of July, so upon my arrival at around lunch time on Thursday the 11th I was planning to find a spot, probably in my hotel, to work on my slide presentation. This was after a 5 hour flight (from Perth) in which I slept rather than refine my presentation – as I was telling myself that I would do over coffee prior to boarding (hey, I had to get up at 5am, and as some of you will know I’m a lightweight who only drinks decaf…) But the best laid plans…
I ran into the force that is Zoe Brand on the train as it pulled away from the airport, and thus my programme for the afternoon immediately changed, admittedly for the better.
We grabbed some lunch, I submitted to being filmed by Zoe talking breifly about jewellery as a part of her bursary fulfillment, and we eventually got ourselves out of the State Library (where she was charging her phone and I managed half an hour on my slideshow) and following that onto a CityCat (the boat-based public transport that charges down the Brisbane River) and into our first exhibition, Six Jewellers Six Ways at Ari Jewellery Gallery Workshop, and then on past artisan to see the exhibitions there in the window, Bench: Works from a collective studio from members of the recently formed Bench – shared contemporary jewellery studio and Unnatrual Acts, an exhibition that has been touring around Australia for over a year, curated by Melinda Young and Lauren Simeoni.
From there we caught a cab back to South Bank where we fronted up for some quick drinks at Queensland Performing Arts Centre and then moseyed on over to the Library again for the Pecha Kucha talks by jewellers and curators from near and far, followed by more conversation. This escapade pretty much set the tone of the weekend – talking, touring, listening, drinking and eating and then more talking. I was not the only Sunday presenter fearing for their voice come Saturday night, and a least one jeweller (poor Hannah Jago) had lost theirs by Sunday.
Stay tuned for when I return with news from days one to three of the conference (same Bat-channel!) For more detail of what went on that I didn’t get to attend (like classes) or capture, the Participation and Exchange blog is still being updated.