Blogging on blogging, and making on making

I’m just going to leave these here. They have inspired some thinking and some quite gung-ho shouts of “Author!” and “Hear, hear!” around these parts in the last set of twenty-four. Back soon with real other content.

Writers and artists — your personal pain is not a blow for justice
By Helen Razer on Daily Review. 30 May, 2016

Why blog?
By Conrad H Roth on Varieties of Unreligious Experience. 14 January, 2006

Body Politic – last days

Attempts to Kill... - as worn by the artist
Attempts to Kill… – as worn by the artist

It’s too late not to sound like a broken record, so here goes:

It’s the last week to see my exhibition at Bilk Gallery, and owing to the fabulous support shown to me and my work by the good people of Canberra, it’s the last time you will see this complete collection of work together anywhere! It closes on the 23rd of April, this Saturday.

The ever-involved Meredith Hinchliffe has also reviewed the show for City Arts. Many thanks to her for her support. Also artist Nigel Lendon, who opened my exhibition, has a great website/blog, and writes about his collection of rugs from Afghanistan with militaristic motifs at this post The Afghan Modern @RKD.

Art work by Melissa Cameron, Drone, from the Escalation series. Title: “Attempts to kill..."
Title: “Attempts to kill…” Melissa Cameron, 2016. From the Escalation series, 2013-2016

The piece that its pictured in worn and unworn configurations, above, is one half of the Drone work.

Drone

The work is made from a steel tortilla pan sourced from Mexico City in 2014. The pan was cut down to 5mm x 5mm ’tiles’, each with a 0.8mm hole drilled into the centre. Then pieces were enamelled, in all about half of the over 1400 units. The enamelled and non-enamelled individual tiles are laid out in a sequence of ASCII characters that have been converted to binary. The encoded message for the Attempts to kill… piece reads:

“Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of 24 November [2014].” S. Ackerman on US drone activity in Pakistan and Yemen, on theguardian.com

while the companion piece, made from the drone-shaped section excised from this work, spells out the name of that piece: General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper UAV

“The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (formerly named Predator B) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remote controlled or autonomous flight operations, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems primarily for the United States Air Force… The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance.”[1]

[1] “General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper,” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, January 1, 2015, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=General_Atomics_MQ-9_Reaper&oldid=639809793.

Intimate Immensities

artist Serideh Karimi
artist Serideh Karimi

I’m currently involved in a beautiful online exhibition at the new Garland Magazine. My work has been featured along a slew of other poetic works by craft artists from all over, under the theme Intimate Immensities. The exhibition was curated by Olivia PintosLopez, one of the co-creators of the magazine.

I signed up as a supporter of the first edition of the magazine and received a hand-decorated copy hard copy (of my own choosing) of the feature essay, and thus the poised tonal painting of a ballerina by Serideh Karimi that adorns my cover has been displayed proudly in my dining room at the centre of the table since its arrival.

Garland has another open call, this time with the theme of Second Home, listed on their site right now if you are interested in getting involved. The deadline for entries of this juried exhibition close on the 22nd of February. The magazine itself features thoughtful articles by many different contributors, including several by artists.

Meanwhile, on the AJF website…

I’ve had the rest of my Material Concerns series – a bunch of photos with tiny descriptions bot by me – published in the last couple of weeks.

Material Concerns: Seeing Light through a Handmade Skirt

Material Concerns: A Thai Surprise

If my writing is not to your taste (fair enough, you just come here for the links and images, I get it…) there’s a lovely little piece by our fearless leader, Ben Lignel, about what it’s like to calculate one specific aspect of his job. What can I say – I feel you Ben.

Melissa Cameron; frequently moving between GMT +11 (or sometimes +10), GMT +8, and today coming from GMT -8.

Material Concerns – Part II

There’s a theme developing here.

I recently wrote for AJF about The Ribbon Room, a mythical place here in Seattle that I’ve written about before. A few times in fact

If you’re in Seattle, the window of Nancy’s Sewing Basket has one of Susan’s amazing garments on display at the moment. If you check it out be sure to wave toward the north, where I’ll be ensconced in my freezing but otherwise comfy hermit hole.. I mean, studio.

Over and over

I went to get my Dad’s car fixed at Hilltop Automotive in my recent month-long Perth visit. The “Fuel Filter Maintenance” screen icon on the dash of his Land Cruiser has been lighting up our driving experience for over a week, which he would never have let slide. Would never have. The change in tense is something that we’re all still working on. He Is. He Was. He Has. He Had. He does. He did.

It seems strangely loyal that his gear would protest his death – first it was the fuel filter on his SUV, and just after arrived I home from the Hilltop excursion, I watched as the batteries on his gourmet one-touch pepper grinder (a gift to himself that was often ridiculed by the family) slowed to a stop while my sister was preparing dinner. The thing requires an army of batteries. We speculated that that would be the end for it, that we’d better find a manual grinder. Turns out there was a stash of AA’s in the kitchen drawer, ready for duty. Mum loaded them in, admitting that she didn’t mind using it for cooking.

In taking Dad’s vehicle to Hilltop, I had to tell John, the vehicle maintenance man for our family. He had been unsurprised to have received a call from a Cameron girl, even about Dad’s car. Soon after our greetings I inquired, “Have you heard about Dad recently?” Telling people about Dad everywhere I go feels like a mini-coming out. (Well, as close as a CIS gendered hetero female might ever get to the experience.) I know that just for my part in the last weeks of life and first weeks of death of my father, I have had to tell employers, gallery owners, curators, collaborators – you know, all the ‘stakeholders’ in my little sphere of interest – in places over the world, thus developing a sense of the geographic scale of the social networks that we inhabit. Unlike his actual death, my disclosure is not a singular event, so I have had to break the news over and over again, most often to people who never knew him.

But John, he knew him. Off the top of his head, just after I told him, came; “He’s been coming here for nineteen years.” This unexpected morsel tripped from his tongue in his lyrical west-country-England-tinged accent, as he opened up the bonnet of the big white vehicle and started unwinding some screws. He looked over at me, screwdriver busy in hand, “He’d come and we’d compare heart medications.” My dad, in conflict with his skinny frame, was on some heavy-duty anti-coagulants, while it seems John is on Statins. Dad had to go off these before his two surgeries last year, when the surgeon went in to vacuum up what combined to a golf-ball sized chunk of melanoma tumour from his brain. John is still on his, and is keeping very fit. He’ll be running the New York Marathon next week. I told him I’d wave from across the country.

Perhaps it was because my Dad lived practically all of his life in the Perth hills, the locus of mourning seemed to be close by while I was near my family in Lesmurdie. Yet unseen, the reverberations of his loss of life continue far beyond the hills, as if when his heart stopped this movement superseded his heartbeat.

The energy that conveyed the change from life to its opposite echoes in a wave that has spanned oceans. Intermittently it bounces off unseen obstacles, enabling it to crisscross boundaries, although haphazardly. The signal changes in strength and the movement is erratic, so I will have to keep reinforcing it. We all do. And as we do, our loss is reinforced.

Bruce Cameron entered hospice care on the 24th of September and died on the 9th of October, 2015.

Published
Categorized as writing

a kinda Deadlines addendum…

1/ I’m compelled to note here, in a whole new post, that I made some changes to the Deadlines post yesterday post initial publication. Quite a few, in fact. The reason I note that now is because if you are subscribed to a feed of this blog (email/rss) you may not have got all the deadline-y goodness that has been offered, and I’d hate my lil’ error to be the cause of that. You’ll have to visit the page to pick up the rest, but they include an internship and the potential to have a short residency at Penland over the winter, so mebbe it’s worth it..?

2/ This is not really a deadline, but I wanted to put this out / remind those folks who have seen it, that AJF Editor Ben Lignel is on the prowl for writing talent. Why not check this out? I for one think you’d be great 😉

Melbourne Jeweller

When Johnny Comes Marching Home. 2015. Replica 1861 rifle cartridges in handmade Irish 60gsm cartridge paper, parrafin wax Minie' ball replicas, glass beads and waxed and unwaxed linen.
When Johnny Comes Marching Home. 2015. Replica 1861 rifle cartridges in handmade Irish 60gsm cartridge paper, parrafin wax Minié ball replicas and glass beads with waxed and unwaxed linen.

Karen – aka Melbourne Jeweller – has said some lovely things on her blog about the little exhibition that Jill Hermans and I have currently running in a window of Hill of Content bookshop in Melbourne. While the incredibly successful Radiant Pavilion has closed, our show (and others) is still running. You have until the 15th of September to check it out, and it is still open 24 hours a day!