Last Friday’s murder of 50 Muslim people at prayer in New Zealand has shocked and saddened the world, and seen an outpouring of empathy and generosity towards those who were attacked. For those looking for a tangible way to show your support, you’ll probably have seen the multiple funding pages which go directly to the families involved:
And then there is Know Their Name, set up to share the names and stories of those who died.
There are good signs that the New Zealand Parliament will ban semi-automatic firearms, but it is the usual tragedy – that it takes a terrorist act of this magnitude for citizens and lawmakers to come to a consensus about the place of these guns in our society.
And for us Australians who see a federal election looming, it’s time to think hard about who our representatives will be, and what they say about this, and future, horrific acts of violence perpetrated by white terrorists. As to future white-perpetrated violence – our past aggression in holding up our unearned privilege is provenance enough. Of course I’m not willing future acts to happen; rather I’m fearing the worst of the entitlement we’ve all seen on display in people of my colour, across all strata of society, compounded by politically troubling times.
A brief but informative take on Australia’s history as a nation built on white nationalism is by Jason Wilson on The Guardian. As per Wilson, we live in an “environment that has nurtured white supremacist terror.”
It’s on white people to undo white supremacy. We’ve got a lot of work to do. On that note, of late I’ve been doing the Me and White Supremacy Workbook by Layla F. Saad. It’s one more prong in the setting of accountability and true equality, a gem I truly prize.
Three-phase is plugged into this baby on Thursday. Now to finish rewiring the kiln. All I’m missing is a drill press. I’m having tool-envy flashbacks to the one that was at Monash – now that was a good bench drill.
Showcasing the work 1.1.2017 as a part of the Raphael Prize at Contemporary Craft
While I was in Pittsburgh last year, as a part of the Elizabeth R Raphael Founders Prize, I worked with Di-ay Battad and Michael Pisano of Pisano Films on this short documentary about the piece 1.1.2017.
I’m really grateful to Michael and Di-ay for their sensitivity in making this piece and for being so amazing to work with. Michael asked really probing questions and listened carefully, and went off and and did a great job editing the piece. I think they’ve done a beautiful job. Thank you again to everyone at Contemporary Craft – Kate Lydon and Janet McCall especially – for making this happen.
Joondalup Art Gallery showcasing jewellery as a craft in March 2019
Happy New Year!
My studio is finally back on line after a 5-month hiatus, during which time Bruce and I have moved country, sold a house in the USA, bought a house in Australia, made some minor renovations to the place and celebrated the closing of a year and the beginning of a new one. I did not stop working entirely but I did take advantage of the studio down-time to slow down a bit. The year proceeding the move was intense, but it was planned that way knowing that there would be some down-time immediately after our US exit, which in the end worked great. It has taken a month since the unpacking began to get my office and studio back in working order, and while I have a few tweaks left to do for full functionality in the studio (anyone have a drill press or air compressor going cheap?) the non-studio work on upcoming exhibitions and other events never really ceased. Which brings me to the latest news:
The Adorn exhibition and Driven to Adorn forum
The Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia – Western Australian (JMGAWA) branch is hosting a member exhibition at the City of Joondalup Art Gallery from 18 March-12 April 2019, and local craft thinker Carola Akindele-Obe of Maker and Smith is presenting a day of conversation with well-known local makers to coincide with the show on 24 March. And if that’s not enough, local legends Sarah Elson and Claire Townend will be teaching one-day classes of their respective specialties the following weekend; cuttlebone casting and enameling. I learned how to cast with Sarah in high school – in an uncharacteristic display I believe I drew and made a butterfly (in a surprise twist I was not actually influenced by Sarah’s superb Moth series as I believe they came later) – while Claire was my teacher when I went back to Curtin to dabble in jewellery in 2005. I’d not be where I am today without these two engaging instructors who are also thoughtful makers.
The Driven to Adorn conversation on March 24th will feature Katherine Kalaf, who in her Cottesloe gallery played host to significant international artist including – very memorably – the recent Loewe Prize shortlisted artist Giovanni Corvaja. Katherine’s space and the makers she attracted were an inspiration to me in my early career, and she was one of my first stockists. After Katherine’s presentation the Driven to Adorn forum will move into a 6×6 presentation, in which I will be one of the six local makers to present six minutes on an aspect of their practice. The full listing of ‘sixers’ for the afternoon is:
2-5pm 24 Mar 2019 (Includes afternoon tea and an invitation to a viewing of the Adorn exhibition after the forum)
Joondalup Reception Centre, Boas Avenue, Joondalup
Places are limited to 30 and there are 16 spots left (as of 15.2.19)
For those of you in Sydney head to Bridget Kennedy Project Space TONIGHT! for her year-end celebrations, and you can bag yourself a very rare ‘73’ pendant. They’re also available at Bilk in Canberra (and they have a few new pieces from me in their current ‘White Christmas’ show which opened last Saturday), at Bini in Melbourne and at Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh.
The pendants commemorate the 73 lives lost to gun violence in the USA on 1.1.2017.
Checking the date stamps will tell you that this post has been a month in the making, so thankfully I do have something pretty special to share for the elapsed time. Last week we had an offer accepted on a new house – 6 weeks to the day after arriving in Perth. It settles in January, so then we’ll finally be able to unpack our shipping container (which is now in storage) and I’ll be able to set up my studio and get back to work in earnest. In the mean time I’ve been compelled and coerced into a couple of seasonal shows.
For my fellow West-Australians, I’m going to be at two exhibition openings/Christmas parties on the 7th of December, where I’ll be showcasing some enamel works that I brought back to the country with me. For my fellow Perthlings and the nearby Freo dwellers, this is the first time that my works have been on display west-side since 2014. Catch you early at:
Galvanise Artsource Member Exhibition
Opening 6pm – 8pm and running until January 5.
Old Customs House
8 Phillimore Street, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
Open 10am – 4pm daily, excepting December 24-28, (these dates inclusive)
Select wonderful Christmas* gifts of hand-made jewellery by ContemporaryMetal practitioners and W.A. contemporary jewellers.
6pm-8:30pm, December 7th – one night only!
Unit 6 · 77-79 Howe Street
Osborne Park, WA 6019
In the first exhibition see some enamel pieces that have never been sighted on this side of the country, and in the Contemporary Metal show, some pieces never before seen on these shores.
(*why do Aussies, and I’d probably add Brits in there too, use Christmas as the all-encompassing seasonal word, often notwithstanding their own religious denomination, while the US and Canada say Holiday/s? All answers accepted. [Including – you’re clearly white trash, Melissa, we don’t use that Christian word here.])
My Pittsburgh friends, my heart goes out to you. And to everyone in the USA who is continually subjected to these traumas.
Today I was just going to share the articles from Contemporary Craft’s (CC’s) latest email circular about the Transformations exhibition. But there’s another mass shooting to address first, in Squirrel Hill, just a few neighbourhoods across from The Strip District where CC is currently located. In the reporting I read, the shooter “used three Glock 357 handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle” to murder 11 people and injure four police officers.
The victims are:
“Joyce Fienberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65, Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and his brother David Rosenthal, 54; married couple Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69.”
America, I know you know this, but your right to bear arms comes with the implicit flip-side; an expectation that you, your friend, your lover, your child….
Thus far I have collected scant new items for the The Enamelist Society (TES) newsletter, aside from the wonderful news that Helen Aitken-Kuhnen has received the President Award in the 52nd International Exhibition of Japan Enamelling Artist Association.
So, if you in an upcoming exhibition; have you seen a cool collection; are leading a workshop; doing a residency, or are in the know about some enamel event that needs more media coverage, then…
enamel (at) melissacameron.net
Include details, dates, images (with artist and photographer captions at the very least) and other relevant info and I put it into the prestigious TES newsletter. And I’ll email you back, though probably not until within a week of the next first-of-the-month deadline. Which is next week. Submissions due to me next Wednesday, please 😉
Continuing the tour of this important anti-gun-violence exhibition
The Boris Bally coordinated exhibition IMAGINE Peace Now has continued to gain relevance as it has toured the USA. It now makes its home at Radius Gallery in Santa Cruz, where Ann Hazels, the director, has made the bold move of showing it in time for the midterm elections in the USA. We are all of us, here in the rest of the world, crossing our fingers for you my USA people.
This year’s dynamic speaker line-up includes European jewelry artist Terhi Tolvanen, metalsmith/sculptor David H. Clemons, jeweler/enamelist Deborah Lozier, and repoussé master Douglas Pryor; plus Ideation: From the Belly to the Brain, a panel discussion featuring artists Melissa Cameron, Eva Funderburgh, and Gina Pankowski.
The Symposium will be in Seattle this year, rather than in Tacoma as originally planned. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we’ve had to make a last-minute change, so this year we will be at the Langston-Hughes Performing Arts Institute, with everything the Symposium has to offer: Silent Auction, Book Sale, and a fabulous line up of speakers and panelists, detailed above.
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018 Location: Langston-Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Seattle, WA
It’s the day before I leave the USA permanently for Perth, Australia, so come say goodbye and join us at the after-party to end all after-parties!
3/ Uneasy Beauty
See my works Drone: Attempts to Kill… and RPG in this exhibition at The Fuller Craft Museum in MA, curated by Suzanne Ramljak the former editor of Metalsmith Magazine.
Uneasy Beauty: Discomfort in Contemporary Adornment will bring together 75 examples of contemporary jewelry and costume that demonstrate the immense power of adornment to impact us physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Showcasing wearable work in various media from regional and national artists, the exhibition will explore the outer limits of comfort through works that constrict body movement, irritate the skin, make extreme demands, or touch upon sensitive cultural nerves. Uneasy Beauty is part of the Mass Fashion collaborative, a consortium of eight cultural institutions that aim to explore and celebrate the many facets of the Bay State’s culture of fashion. This exhibition is curated by Suzanne Ramljak, an art historian, writer, curator, and former editor of Metalsmith magazine.
October 6, 2018 – April 21, 2019
Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301