the webbiverse has my number

Melissa goes gaga about a Klimt02 newsletter. Yeah, it’s over the top, trust me.

I woke to the regular Saturday Klimt02 email newsletter in my inbox, like most good jewellists. This edition is a doozy though, and made me think for a second that I’m being watched…

Lets go down in order then:
I purchased a catalogue from a jewellery book fair (from Charon Kransen Arts at the 2008 JMGA conference) specifically for Gésine Hackenberg‘s work, which I then even attempted to copy as I loved it so (with little success mind you).

I spoke on the connections of architecture and jewellery at this year’s JMGA conference, during which I used an image of Fritz Maierhofer‘s work to illustrate jewellers who work with architectural materials, and who also make sculpture. (And for which I wrote to him for permission to have it published, which he kindly gave me – he takes his own photos!)

OK, this one is more than tenuous – but I love Marc Monzo‘s ring. If I was ever going to wear a solitaire…

Finally (apologies to Tore Svensson, who’d I have probably had to include with the last two, except I’ve only just heard of him) I wrote about Manon van Kouswijk and Benjamin Lignel in my MFA thesis (and in Lignel’s case, on the work featured for the newsletter) as the contemporary context for my work. They are possibly the two jewellery artists in the world who I know most about, or at least, the two who I have most  studied and analysed in an in-depth fashion.

Waddya know, in my world, it’s all about me…

curtains

Melissa recounting the fun and shenanigans at the last day of the JMGA conference in Perth.

Today was the final day of the JMGA conference in Perth. It was a bit of a mixed bag, and I missed parts with gallery commitments and the odd coughing fit. I did stick around between breaks more, which meant that I got to know a few more people. And got more feedback on my paper, all of which was extremely lovely.

Surprise stand-out of the day for me was Dr Ric Spencer and his paper Interpersonal Politics (a subversive sunset). I don’t think I would be able to do justice to his work to try and explain the arc he took, but when I spoke with him at morning tea he admitted that before he spoke he was unsure as to if our crowd would follow him on his journey. He was pleased to find that we all did, and going by the questions and chat afterward, everyone enjoyed the ride.

confer-ence-ing

Resource: 14th biennial JMGA conference in Perth, WA. This is an event during which Melissa refers to both Melbourne and Perth as ‘home’ with equal conviction, and regularity.

Excellent presentations today, a really solid line-up. This morning seems so long ago already! (Though I guess it’s technically now yesterday.) Oron Catts got lots of questions and feedback (in equal parts awed, amazed and mildly disgusted) for his work growing little objects with live tissue.

Maureen Faye-Chauhan’s talk was informative and insightful – you can share a studio yet still have much to learn about someone’s work, and processes. I really appreciated the clarity of her slides – her drawings and the explanatory drawings on photos of patterns were a great expository tool, and she had great photos too. (And along with her own beautiful works was a cameo of  a couple of Melissa Cameron pieces – I knew some images were coming but was still surprised.)

I also really enjoyed Dr Eugenie Keefer-Bell’s presentation on goldsmith-artist-sculptor Albert Paley. I’m going to have to study this man, and read more of Eugenie’s work too.

I managed to find enough voice to make my presentation and answer questions, and with the calibre of the responses and the general feedback, I think I can safely judge my first paper a success! (For those interested, post pin-swap party I am once again seeking voice…)

Lastly, I will have my bibliography and image references up at my main site as promised, very soon.

discussion

Melissa today is talking about talking about jewellery. Got it?

Been doing some jewellery-exercise. A few sedate the rounds of the intertubes (there’s a public holiday in many parts of Australia today) looking at competitions that have wended their way to my inbox. Through one I found out that Damian Skinner is now writing the Art Jewelry Forum blog, for the US based AJF. And via a post by him, I landed on a documentary called Jewellery Talk made in 2006 by two Swedes, Daniela Hedman and Kajsa Lindberg. The premise is simple, and would have made for one amazing road trip. Get a bunch of formidable artist-jewellery heads on film responding to some probing questions about jewellery. At a little under 50 minutes, it does take a little time to get through, but it’s well worth wading right on in.

The whole premise reminds me a little of doing a winery tour, to the point that I’m conjuring images of James May’s latest tv series as well as the film, Sideways, from a few years back. These images are just popping into my head, as my brain rifles around the ‘ole filing system thrusting catalogue cards into the air, seeking a way to frame what I just saw.

It’s like going to see the makers and sellers of wine, on their soil, to ask them about the importance of their product. Obviously the answers vary. Makers respond on their own brand, though some seek to explain their chosen variety too. There’s talk of past vintages, cellaring and sales, and the time-line carries right on up to the current crop and how it handles, and how it might mature. Some go so far as to elucidate on what the future of their region, or even the business/craft/artform in general, may hold. It’s a very thoughtful piece, well edited, and most importantly, is underpinned by a great idea.

In the end what struck me most is how unfamiliar many interviewees seemed to be at being asked, and answering, these questions. But at the conclusion of the film I am more hopeful that these questions will continue to be asked, and answered.