Marfa, TX

Please join us this Friday to meet Melissa Cameron and view her solo exhibition opening of Marfa, TX. 

Opening Friday 13 September August 6pm – 8pm

Exhibition dates 11 September – 13 October 2019.

I’ll be in the gallery for a bit today and tomorrow if you want to come say hi and have a guided preview 😉

Toowoomba Contemporary Wearables

Image of corporate entity / corporeal entity in stainless steel, vitreous enamel and titanium. Photograph by Melissa Cameron.
Image of corporate entity / corporeal entity in stainless steel, vitreous enamel and titanium. Photograph by Melissa Cameron.

Thank you to Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery for the Contemporary Weatables ‘19 award. I got the call yesterday while showing my family all the work I’ve just finished making for Marfa, TX. My niece, 4 years old, told me very sternly that what she was seeing was not jewellery.

“What is jewellery then?” I asked?

“Jewellery is hearts.”


Sorry to disappoint! The acquired piece is a double-header – yes, one side is my red head 👩🏻‍🦰 – which is at least anatomy.

corporate entity / corporeal entity


A double-sided neckpiece with pixelated images on opposing sides, depicting; the US Federal Reserve building, and, my face as photographed for my last US visa. Decoded from ASCII/Binary, the Fed reads “corporate entity”, my face, “corporeal entity”. The Fed background reads “not-me, not-you, not-them, not-us.”, while the opposing background “I-you-him/her/them-we-you(pl)-they”.

In the US and Australia, and other countries I checked, maximizing employment is at the core of government monetary policy (in these cases, the three written rules supposed to dictate how governments will benefit their citizens). The difference between the US Federal Reserve and the Reserve Bank of Australia is “the economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia”, is the third of three government-mandated duties. In the US, the third objective of the Fed is moderating interest rates.

Thank you again to Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery for your long-term commitment to this artform, and to Sue Lostroh for your call, it was a highlight of a very proud day 🙂

See the exhibition at Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery until November 3.

Invitation to Marfa, TX

Please join us and meet Melissa Cameron for her solo exhibition opening of Marfa, TX. 

My past is a foreign country. We do things differently t/here.

In 2017 I went on vacation to Marfa, TX, with Bruce and Elaine. A town put on the map as a railroad water stop, it’s three hours drive from El Paso and one hour from the Rio Grande. In the last century ranchers, rangers, POW’s, and refugees have all passed through. Since the 1970’s it’s been a permanent home to the works of artist/designer Donald Judd. Since his death these installations, and his preserved studios, have drawn visitors from all over the globe. 

Marfa is in the Chihuahuan desert; there, dropped steel has a long life on the ground. Seeing steel, and knowing I could geotag what I picked up using my phone’s camera, I started a solo scavenger hunt. It covered a campsite; a former US military base (now a part of the Chinati Foundation); the grounds of hotels, diners, galleries and museums; and the dusty streets and sidewalks of the town.

My time/space capsule of finds moved continent with me in 2018-2019. It was finally reopened in Perth. I printed the photos, matched and mapped the finds, researched, and drew. I used this data, and the found objects, to make jewellery.

Since childhood I have picked up bits of metal from the ground. In Marfa, recording and collecting felt instinctive, inevitable. In Perth, I struggled to understand my compulsion at that time and in that place. I had to be with the collection and contextualize it, almost archeologically, in order to reimagine it. 

Some finds have been altered significantly. Others minimally. All have travelled far. As have I.

Melissa Cameron

August 2019
 

Opening Friday 13 September August 6pm – 8pm

Exhibition dates 11 September – 13 October 2019.

12 Palmerston Lane, Manuka, ACT 2603   Phone +61 (0) 2 61622761  

Hours Wed-Fri 11-5  Sat 11-4

*images on the Bilk site by Melissa Cameron, Elaine Cheung and Bruce Cooper

Master Makers and Toowoomba Contemporary Wearables open SOON!

I have works in two exhibitions starting Thursday and Friday of this week.

If you’re in Melbourne have a great time at #RadPav, I’ll see you at the next one for sure. If you’re in Toowoomba this is my first Contemporary Wearables for a few years (you have to be in Australia to apply). It’s great to be back!

MasterMakers has an invite-only opening on Thursday, with guest speaker Virginia Trioli (!)

Contemporary Wearables ’19 is open to all by RSVP, details on the invitation below. National treasure (and my mentor) Marian Hosking will be at the opening as the judge of the awards. If only I weren’t headed to Canberra the next day. I know the collection of jewellery there is very impressive, I hope to get to see it one day.

MasterMakers at RMIT Gallery:

RMIT Gallery, Building 16, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Since the 1970s, leading Australian and international Gold and Silversmithing artists have delivered and participated in masterclasses in the RMIT School of Art which has had a profound impact on the training of the craft in Australia.

This major exhibition explores the masterclass legacy, showcasing both recent works of the visiting ‘master makers’ and work produced at the master classes, as well as recording the cultural, artistic and technical shift in contemporary jewellery and object. 

Curator Mark Edgoose

Featuring artists: Ruby Aitchison, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Robert Baines, Nicholas Bastin, Peter Bauhuis, Dianne Beevers, Doris Betz, Renee Bevan, David Bielander, Julie Blyfield, Zoe Brand, Helen Britton, Sue Buchanan, Melissa Cameron, Bifei Cao, Pamela Chan, Yu Fang Chi, David Clarke, Anna Clynes, Katie Collins, Conversation Piece (Beatrice Brovia & Nicholas Cheng), Anna Davern, Helen Dilkes, Bin Dixon-Ward, Joungmee Do, Mark Edgoose, Sian Edwards, Ian Ferguson, Karl Fritsch, Emi Fukuda, Eli Giannini, Kiko Gianocca, Allona Goren, Rowena Gough, Wayne Guest, Caz Guiney, Marcos Guzman, Mary Hackett, Kirsten Haydon, Peter Hoogeboom, Marian Hosking, Katherine Hubble, Linda Hughes, David Huycke, Naoko Inuzuka, Kazuhiro Itoh, Nicole Jacquard, Tassia Joannides, Cara Johnson, Hermann Jünger, Jiro Kamata, Jung-Hoo Kim, Inari Kiuru, Wendy Korol, Daniel Kruger, Otto Künzli, Andrew Last, Benjamin Lignel, Sue Lorraine, Carlier Makigawa, Stefano Marchetti, Marion Marshall, Chris Massey, Claire McArdle, Kelly McDonald, Lindy McSwan, Sam Mertens, Karl Millard, Yutaka Minegishi, Marc Monzó, Shelley Norton, Michaela Pegum, Jana Roman, Lucy Sarneel, Elise Sheehan, Debbie Sheezel, Bettina Speckner, Michelle Stewart, Leah Teschendorff, Elizabeth Turrell, Renée Ugazio, Manon van Kouswijk, Michael Wong and Aurelia Yeomans.

Contemporary Wearables ’19

531 Ruthven St, Toowoomba.

We are honoured to have one of Australia’s most respected metalsmiths,  Marian Hosking, selecting this year’s Award Prize winners and making suggestions for collection acquisitions.

The selection panel this year was Simon Cottrell, Lecturer / Researcher, Gold and Silversmithing Workshop, ANU School of Art & Design, Claire Sourgnes CEO Artisan, and Chloë Powell Curator and Exhibitions Manager, Craft Victoria / Co-founder and Director, Radiant Pavilion: Melbourne Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial. The Gallery team is very grateful to them for their valuable contribution in selecting the exhibition.

Marfa, TX

In 2017 I went on vacation to Marfa, TX, with Bruce and Elaine. It’s in the Chihuahuan desert; there, dropped steel has a long life on the ground. Seeing steel, and knowing I could geotag what I picked up using my phone’s camera, I started a solo scavenger hunt. It covered a campsite; a former US military base (now a part of the Chinati Foundation); the grounds of hotels, diners, galleries and museums; and the dusty streets and sidewalks of the town.

This map shows what I found where, and when.

click on a point to see the find in that location

Melbourne and Perth and Sydney – events to get y’all out of the studio

Last Friday night I went to the Real to Reel Craft Film Festival here in Perth and it was incredible! Presented by local craft heroes Maker & Smith (organisers of workshops, talks and other beautifully thought-out and executed events) it is screening again this Friday night in Perth at Camelot Cinema. The fest is then touring to Melbourne – end of this month – and Sydney – early next – so check out that first link for dates. I love a short film fest, and this was one for the ages.

Also in Melbourne you have the Su san Cohn performance Meaninglessness in the middle of this month. Please go, it looks to be another powerful presentation from one of Australia’s finest jewellery thinkers. I look forward to living vicariously.

Master Class Workshop – Liquid Enamel for Steel and Copper with visiting artist Melissa Cameron.

fuckthispresidentandtheregimeherodeinon 2017. Stainless steel, titanium, vitreous enamel

14 – 15 September 2019

In her practice Melissa Cameron has perfected the application of liquid enamel onto small objects. It’s a unique enamelling method, well suited to both flat and dimensional forms, with coating found objects like wire and tiny laser-cut parts being Melissa’s specialties.

In this workshop with the artist, learn her tips and tricks for using liquid enamel on steel and copper, from metal surface preparation to enamel mixing, application, and firing. Extend your decorative palette with textures and patterns using simple techniques, well suited for use on items of jewellery and small objects.

This masterclass is being held in conjunction with Melissa Cameron’s solo exhibition at Bilk Gallery opening on Friday the 13 September 2019, 6pm – 8pm.

Workshop details
Time: 9.30 am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 14 – 15 September.
Location: Workshop Bilk, 403 Captians Flat Road Carwoola Queanbeyan NSW Australia. Attendees will need to bring their own lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.
Materials: All materials and tools will be supplied.
Cost: $450 per person for the two days. Maximum of six places available.

The Neck

The Neck is an exhibition of neckpieces curated by Bridget Kennedy which will be going on show at Bridget Kennedy Contemporary Jewellery and Object Gallery from Thursday July 4th, with opening drinks from 6-8pm. See it at 53 Ridge St North Sydney, Wed to Sat 11 – 5pm until 27th of July.

The neck, often seen as a sensual part of the body, a site of vulnerability, is also a site of strength, supporting the heavy head, a conduit to our heart and lungs, providing life giving oxygen to our bodies, and nourishment through the ingestion of food. At a time when our planet and humanity seems to be suffocating on many fronts, strangled by powerful, self serving ‘leaders’, Bridget Kennedy invites selected artists to explore the neck as a vehicle for political, social and environmental activation. Artists include; Melissa Cameron, Melinda Young, Liane Rossler, Pennie Jagiello, Claire McArdle, Peter Deckers, Nicole Robins, Misa Gelin, Shirley Cho, Cara Johnson, Zoe Brand, Kelly McDonald, Vivian Atkinson, Tracey Clement, Vernon Bowden, Renee Pearson, Helena Bogucki, Roseanne Bartley.

10% of artist profits will be donateed to Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) . The exhibition will be opened by Corinne Fisher, Coordinator of the Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) initiative at the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education.

My contribution was originally seen in the IMAGINE exhibition, curated by Boris Bally, which toured the US for a couple of years. It’s the first time it is being seen in Australia, and consequently it’s the first time I’ve posted a gun inside Australia. Fingers crossed it makes it…

Wanneroo Community Art Awards

As advertised last Friday was the opening of the City of Wanneroo Community Art Awards, and at the opening I was awarded the main prize in the Sculpture category!!

Me and the Wanneroo Mayor

If you’re in WA and want to see the show, head to 3 Rocca Way, Wanneroo from Monday to Saturday until the 14th of June, from 10am-4pm.

For those nowhere near, there’s a bunch of images of the night on their Facebook page (spot one of me and Coop that bucks the trend of us taking only awful photos together – well done that photographer, you may have broken the hex) or have a look at the virtual tour of the exhibition.
Or check out the list of the award winners here. (And a big hello to the person I met at the exhibition during the Welcome To Country hand-linking – now that I’ve seen that work I get you, and I’m on the same page 😉 )

Adorn and Driven to Adorn

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:

Melissa Cameron, Sarah Elson, Susannah Kings-Lynne, Bethamy Linton, Claire Townsend and Alister Yiap

Adorn

Joondalup Art Gallery
4/48 Central Walk, Joondalup WA 6027
18 March – 12 April 2019

Tuesday – Thursday: 10am to 2pm
Friday: 10.30am to 2.30pm

Driven to Adorn

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)

DRIVEN TO ADORN – a forum for craft conversations