Day One – finally to work

OK, so here’s where we’re at. (I’m behind in posting so Munich will have to wait.)  I’m finally in Bristol to undertake my residency and I am now at the end of day 2 at the University of the West of England (UWE) at the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR) with Elizabeth Turrell.

It was good to see Elizabeth again, and it felt like almost a relief to start work. That’s probably down to the fact that for me it’s been the whole reason for this trip. It was easy to get started, most likely because it’s well-establish creative environment that is used to being a hive of activity, so work just happens.

Yesterday was initiation, of sorts, so I got to know the place, the people and the studio. I had a play with some enamels straight onto sandblasted mild steel, and showed everyone some of my work. Looking back I’m not too keen on my achievements for the day, but since I’ve not really had a play with enamel on steel (aside from one aborted attempt) since April last year, it was good to get my hand, and brain, back into gear.

(These are all yesterday’s images, so I’ll have today’s up tomorrow. BTW, Elizabeth sends her regards to all who passed messages of hello through me.)

As you can probably tell, Anamika and Cathy were translating some children’s drawings onto some large oven panels. This was for another artist, Antony, who was in an out all day.

There were many more people through the studio than those here, but these were the women who were working in the studio yesterday and today. Others came in and out, and Jessica Turrell also came through a couple of times, but I never caught her on the camera.


Hey, I didn’t make up the title, ok? This is the name of the 20th Legnica International Jewellery Competition. I found out about it at Inhorgenta last weekend, and since I’ve not yet been able to post about going to see Inhorgenta, I thought I’d better at least let you know about the comp as the deadline is looming.

Work needs to get to Poland by the 1st of April, and they have to be in silver. More details on their website.

Oona + Schmuckfrage Galleries

Last week, whilst in Berlin, we headed to a couple of jewellery galleries, Oona + Schmuckfrage.

The first gallery we visited was Schmuckfrage Gallerie, which I was keen to see since on their website they had works by Denise Julia Reytan, an artist who I’ve been following for a while. They didn’t disappoint, as the owner, Ute Klotzbücher, was able to open a drawer and show me two of her large and colourful neckpieces, while many of her watch bangles were scattered around the store.

This was the smaller gallery of the two – think about two thirds of Gallery Funaki with taller ceilings, but it had a warm feel owing to several large line-drawings in gold, high on the walls, and the use of honey coloured timber plan drawers as display cabinets. These had been altered with their tops replaced with glass, allowing considerable space to place works in the top part of the cabinets, as well as ample storage in the drawers below.

The works were a mix of pieces, with some being in precious metals but many pieces not. The owner told me that they have shows several times a year, but when we visited it seemed to be a collection of their regular artists works’ on display.

There was quite a range from the large and wonderful like the Reytan works right down to the very wearable, with a large selection of rings occupying a special ring-shaped plinth in the centre of the room. This was without any form of glass, so each piece was attached with a counter weight that was viewable through the hole in the centre of the tubular-shaped plinth. This suggested that play with the pieces was encouraged, so we gently lifted a few works for a better view. There was also a series of wall-mounted cases with glass fronts to one side, with smaller works on display.

Oona Gallerie had a single artist show; Petra Zimmermann – Dodecade (images available on the site). On seeing the works on display here I was reminded of the AJF review of last year, as they seemed to be a similar body of works to those described in that review.

It was a comprehensive show, and an impressive body of works with a clear conceptual line. But, like the old and antique objects they appropriate in their construction, I think they are a mixed bag. I’m not keen on some of the bulkier pieces where it seems that the resin was used to prop and fill in the gaps rather than as integral feature. However, and probably in keeping with what I just said, I liked the rings more, as they were smaller, more refined and the resin used more thoughfully.

The gallery itself is cool and refined. It has large windows facing the street and is well lit by them, even on the greyish day we visited. The size of the room is generous, especially for a jewellery gallery. As for the layout, the works were displayed rather low, and while I found this unusual, it was not off-putting. They were on broad white plinths, with grey risers for some of the pieces, and the rings on a single large grey sheet on another white plinth on the other side of the room. There was also some permanent hanging seating and raw wood poles as a part of the decor. Other works were accessible in a series of plan drawers in one corner of the space.

Ute also suggested a trip to a third gallery owned by Gabi Dziuba, but the day we visited she wasn’t in. I’m still not sure of the name of this gallery, as Ute described it not by name, but by the shape of the signage of the next-door erotica shop! (Let’s not leave you to think that one through too much, it was a large pink heart shape. Honest.) The window had some interesting works, and there was a large steel and glass table that dominated the space, but we couldn’t see into it as it was too dark inside. Next time – and hopefully in summer.

Upcoming shows

News in from Melbourne and Slippery Rock, PA yesterday. I’m in two upcoming juried exhibitions: the Toyota Community Spirit Gallery Emerging Artist Exhibition with three works, and with one in Recontextualizing the Found Object, being held at Martha Gault Art Gallery in Slippery Rock University.

I had entered recycled object works in both shows (What, really? When the show has a title like ‘Recontextualizing the found object’? I know you’re shocked…) so they will be winging their way around the country, and the globe.

Both start next month, so my little mail fairy back in Melbourne is going to have a busy time! Thanks mail fairy 🙂

Siamo in Venezia

So, we’re rocking through the Doges Palace museum here in Venice, and the Hieronymus Bosch’s have all been shipped down the … canal, to their own show. Left in the room is another artist’s depiction of hell, which is also very Hiery (if I may be so bold as to call him that) and a Quentin Metsys (1465-1530) called The Mocking of Christ (Il Cristo Diriso), which is an oil painting on wooden board.

What stands out in this painting, is, wait for it… The jewellery. It is exquisitely rendered, and so very un-Roman. They wouldn’t have made pieces like this, and couldn’t have made pieces like this. But, wow, they’re good. Well, the picture is good. I sometimes think it would be nice to produce lovely renderings of jewellery, and if I ever decide that I’m actually going to do it, I’m going to spend more time looking up this Mestys bloke.

In other news, within the Peggy Guggenheim collection, the couple of pieces of Alexander Calder’s works that are on show are very impressive. There’s an image in the gallery of her with some of his earrings on too. Wonder where they are?


Sorry about the abrupt silence on the blog, I’ve been running around like the proverbial chook…

Suffice today I’m off tonight, via a small detour in Perth, and will hit Venice next Tuesday. I will be posting again once I hit the UK in March, to keep everyone up to speed with what I’m up to while ‘in residence’, at the Centre for Fine Print Research in Bristol.

Talk then!

ch ch ch ch changes

You might notice that I’ve pulled the “brought to you by AusCo” message from the sidebar of this site. Yup, I’m officially no longer an ArtStarter so I thought it proper to take it down. But big congrats to the newly minted batch – you’re in for a big year!

However… (Notwithstanding the questionable syntax of starting a sentence with ‘However’. ) My new funding – for the residency at UWE – has just kicked in. Given this is for a specific purpose, and to make the website search-able by this topic, I’ve added an ‘Australia Council’ category, so posts about the impending trip, and posts while in Bristol will be marked by this category. And any future funding from them, I guess… (fingers crossed!)

I’ve also added a Twitter link. I’ve borrowed the pic from Turbo. He’s a burgeoning graphic designer (and full time geek.) His specialty is old-skool 8 bit graphics.

got a hole in your Saturday?

Snow Bowl Void - Chloe Vallance + Melissa Cameron, 2010. Recycled bamboo bowl, coloured pencil, cord

Chloe and I have a show on at the moment – it’s called Measuring the Space Between, and it closes this Saturday the 8th. So to finish the show we’re going to have afternoon tea this Saturday. Please come join us! The gallery is open from 12-5pm. There will be shortbread…