Often jewelry is created to celebrate and mark milestones in life. As part of marking her milestone of turning 40, jewelry artist Tegan Wallace has invited a collection of artists to take a prototype or unfinished object from Tegan’s own work and breathe new life into them. These Bits and Bobs will become reflections of what Tegan has achieved so far while celebrating the metal community that had given her so much and continues to influence her own artistic growth.
As a part of being in this show Tegan gave me a piece of her work to finish up – incidentally, the pierced dome work that appears in the top third of the photograph above – that she began in her teens. She lovingly and ingeniously created this piece at her parents coffee table, and despite a lot of recent protest that it was practically done already, she didn’t consider it finished. It may not yet be, but for this show I’ve taken it and added my own parts, in steel and liquid enamel of course, and turned it into a piece of jewellery.
Come see it, and even say hello to me and Tegan at the opening, from 6 – 9pm this Friday. The show runs until November 28th.
Danaca Design Studio
5619 University Way NE
Seattle WA 98105
In answer to a reader question; yes, the material that makes the work My House – Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box is all from Tanya’s old lunch box, barring the stainless steel rivets, c-shaped connections, chain (handmade and otherwise) and cable that joins the altered parts together.
In fact there’s actually a few parts missing. The plastic handle and chrome fittings are not part of the design, and there is a series of five small pins (about 27 x 4mm each) that are not part of the installation. One of these I have kept (not a habit of mine, but these were particularly meaningful to me, in a piece that became surprisingly personal over the course of the design and making), and four were given to Micki before the piece was installed.
What you can’t see in this image is the hinge pin that was removed, the handle tethers, and an internal feature meant to hold a thermos flask in place in the top section of the box (it was roughly the shape of the stylized ‘V’ on the front.) All this was wire, in approximately 1.5 – 2mm diameter steel, which was cut up, drilled into, enameled and re-joined to make the chain that holds the big ‘snowflake’ section in the centre.
Images of my latest work, as installed at the Bellevue Arts Museum.
Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box
Micki Lippe gave me the lunch box that used to belong to her daughter. She also gave me a book of poetry written by Tanya, published posthumously. Together they formed a commission; use one to make the other into something, which at least would get the old black relic out of the basement.
As an implement, a lunch box suggests forward planning, nourishment, and the day-to-day banality of life. But without its rightful owner? As an inheritance, the container became a reliquary. Though less tangible, the poems are a more instructive fragment of her life. They reference her – her feelings, her body. Yet her eyes never saw nor skin touch the bound object.
The box’s meaning again shifted when transferred into my hands, radically. Through reinterpretation it is now literally intertwined with the poetry of Tanya’s life, its former narrative burden becoming the liberator of its form.
Forget Them – but can we? A show about charms, amulets and talismans at Brooklyn Metal Works. Check it out!
“There are no angels, demons, or ghosts. Immaterial spirits of any kind do not exist. The creatures with which the Greek and Roman imagination populated the world—Fates, harpies, demons, genii, nymphs, satyrs, dryads, celestial messengers, and the spirits of the dead—are entirely unreal. Forget them.”
Yet it seems that despite our best efforts, we can’t. This show examines humankind’s perennial struggle between personal autonomy and spiritual guidance, and how these ideas manifest and inspire the fabrication of physical objects. All cultures throughout the ages have taken abstract concepts like gods, demons, imps, and spirits and translated them into material items that are often housed in esteemed spaces. Shrines that celebrate, amulets that protect, and totems that commemorate these enduring theologies and phenomenons. Perhaps the most resilient form of piety, the belief that objects imbued with spiritual reverence might protect or reward the owner withstands the test of time, often despite our better judgment.
Forget Them is an exhibition of “Talismans, amulets, shrines, and charms that have been created to wear, carry, or look upon. These objects convey a specific power, intend to protect against superstition, or commemorate.” curated by Steven Gordon Holman, Brian Weissman and Erin S. Daily, currently on at Brooklyn Metal Works. My collaboration with Jill Hermans, the Charged Charm Cards, are on display, and, as you can see above, we’re in illustrious company 🙂 Check it out until the 27th of November.
An image of Melissa’s wok is in the newspaper, along with a insightful commentary about Micki Lippe’s piece in the same show. Connections abound!
An article entitled: Transforming metal: ‘Metalmorphosis’ exhibit at BAM shows new possibilities by Gayle Clemans was published in the Seattle Times newspaper today. It’s a review of the Metalmorphosis exhibition at the Bellevue Arts Museum here in Seattle, and features an image of part of my installation My House: Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box (the print version has a large reproduction of the brooch section of my piece next to the article – online it’s in a slide section, of the image included above) as well as an insightful commentary about Micki Lippe‘s work, among others.
As you might have guessed I was pretty chuffed when I found out, doubly so as the news came via an excited email from Micki this morning!
And yes, for those of you yet to see the show or not familiar with local jewellery doyenne Micki Lippe, Tanya is the name of Micki’s daughter. I’m not trying to tease with my lack of details – in fact there’s been some descriptions in Instagram of the work – but I’ve been refraining from posting full images of the installation until Micki has seen it, as due to other commitments she missed the openings at the start of the month.
Right, I’m off, to go get a copy of the newspaper 😉
Like their About page on Facebook says, they are an “Auction For Aid – Contemporary Jewellery Auction to benefit the refugee crisis.” A bunch of UK based jewellers, (amounts are in GBP) are auctioning off some pretty great looking work on Facebook (yes, you do seem to need an account to bid) that will post/ship internationally.
Welcome to the 2016 Auction For Aid. All money raised will be going to two charities, MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) and SALAM LADC (‘Salam: LADC’ stands for ‘Peace: Lebanese Association for Development and Communication’), both charities doing wonderful work to help with the current refugee crisis.
Finally! An interactive calendar for jewellery events! Look out for deadline info there, and add your own to boot.
The jewelery agenda, the place you can see the contemporary art jewelery events : exhibitions, openings, lectures, awards, etc … You can propose your event to be published in the agenda by clicking in the “Add Event” blue button
Melissa’s been acquired. It’s ok, she didn’t go cheap…
If you’ve already seen this on Instagram my apologies, but the lovely co-director of Bilk, Mio Kuhnen, let the world know over the weekend that two of my pieces from the recent Body Politic exhibition in Canberra were just acquired by the National Gallery of Australia. This takes their Melissa Cameron tally up to 3!
I was in a bit of shock to have such a long and considered gallery visit with Dr Robert Bell (curator of decorative arts at the NGA) while I was in Canberra, on the day before the official opening of the show. He was very inquisitive, and if you’re read any of the text surrounding these works, you’ll have seen that there are a lot of stories to tell, so I was honoured to impart my narrative of these and the other works. He even asked my opinion – what I thought of the pieces he was deliberating and why – and I had to tell him that it took me a long time to come to terms with the Tank piece especially, as I found it brutal and dark when I first finished it.
Finishing that work as one of the earliest in the series – the Cannon and Tank were conceived at the same time – made continuing and then creating even more complex pieces an easier pill to swallow. I look back now and see that they were really just a prelude to the Gun piece, which, while only completed in late 2013 early 2014, was really begun with the horrific events in Sandy Hook in December of 2012. I see now that I put those details away for a while, and decided to start in more neutral territory – a Civil War era cannon and an M1 Abrams tank as fitted out for use by the Australian Army, as a sort of way to first test and then brace myself before moving deeper into this series.
I had a terrible grief-ridden winter this year as I finished up this series, and while the Drone probably didn’t help, I can’t say it hurt either. I now conflate the two in my memory. The Drone and last winter were inevitable, and surviving each of them needed the other as a crutch, in a sort of incongruous symbiosis.
But before all that, when I just had a Tank and a Cannon in my arsenal, I wasn’t sure if I would continue. The duo could have easily remained an outlier, an experiment that was discontinued before it had really begun. So it’s also them I have to thank for begetting the rest of the Escalation series, including the Drone that got me through.
Goodbye good friends, I hope to see you again some time 😉
I’ve done a bit of house-keeping today, and finally added my SNAGnext presentation from May to the list of conference papers, located over in that sidebar to the left (or above if you’re moblie-y inclined). While I was there, I made Conference Papers into its own menu, so that you can now easily reach each of the three papers I’ve delivered to a few select audiences over the years. The new one I added today, and also (as of today) the 2013 paper from the JMGA conference in Brisbane, have in-line slides that go along with the text, which add something interesting to look at, especially useful if you get bored of all those words.
Below are links to each of them, starting from the most recent and working my way back. (And yes, I hope to work on sorting out the same deal for the symposium papers next 😉 )
3/ This final one has been kicking around on the internet for a while – my presentation for the 2010 JMGA conference in Perth held at the Central Institute of Technology in April of that year, entitled:
The Bam Biennial starts next week – see you at the opening!
Yesterday my newly finished piece My House: Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box was installed at Bellevue Arts Museum just in time for the opening of the much anticipated juried metal exhibition Metalmorphosis, which opens this Thursday night.
Delivery of the pieces and installation went smoothly, though the complexity of hanging my piece made it the longest single hang of the exhibition thus far (Maria Phillips’ hang was still in progress – I think she’s now officially the longest BAM hang of all time!) … A dubious honour I can tell you, as Elizabeth, who I spent the day working with, is a real pro. That said, the 3rd floor of the museum was an incredible place to be yesterday, especially as most of the works were in situ (and those with power were running) and it is looking really magnificent. I hitched a ride home with Kirk Lang (a locally-based jeweller/sculptor who is an incredibly precise metalsmith and artist) and both of us were sharing our experience of awe on arrival into the space, at seeing the pieces already installed. It’s a little hard to communicate how amazed and thrilled I am to have my work precariously dangled alongside the glorious fruits of so many high calibre artists and artisans.
Needless to say, if you’re in the Seattle area and you haven’t already got a ticket, then please consider yourself invited to the Thursday night shindig by me! You can head over to the ticketing page and grab a ticket for the opening night party that starts at 6pm on Thursday the 1st, or they’ll be $20 on the door. If you’re willing to wait a day (you will miss out on seeing me though…) you can have free entry for Friday’s opening to the general public. And if you’re in Seattle right now but are going to be in town before February, I encourage you to get along. It’s a heck of a show, and I’ve not even seen it fully installed yet!
From the exhibition media:
BAM received a record-breaking 330 applications for this year’s biennial. From this vast and talented pool of applicants, 49 Northwest artists were selected to participate:
Well friends, there are going to be 4 artists who take two weeks each to give an intro to their area of jewellery and metalsmithing specialty. My two weeks will be working with enamel, and how you can add that to the arsenal of jewellery-making techniques. The other artists involved are Pratt regulars: Anne Randall, Julia Harrison and Sharrey Dore.