Thursday, 31 May 2012

Glee with Lisa Walker

Lisa Walker is giving a lecture at RMIT on Thursday 14 June from 6-7pm, entitled Glee.

Who wouldn't want to attend a lecture entitled Glee!?

RMIT Building 8, Level 11, Room 68, hosted by RMIT's new department merging Gold & Silversmithing and Ceramics, the department of Object Based Practice.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Adornment and Animals in India

Throughout India I was amazed at the ornamentation and adornment, even on animals, even on sculptures of animals! Elephants wearing necklaces, their faces painted in neon. Horses with their toenails (hooves) painted pink, an elaborately embroidered cloak draped over their backs and colourful fringe hanging from their foreheads for a wedding procession. Goats and dogs wearing sweaters, or if they are street dogs looked after by people who need their old sweaters for other purposes, then the dogs wear burlap sacks, but still they are looked after well enough that they have something to wear in the January cold in Delhi.

Cows are also draped with fabrics to keep off the cold, and Brahmin cows have had their sweaters or burlap sacks altered with a hole cut in the top for their hump to protrude. Working cattle wear turbans in Delhi, which turns out to be a practical consideration, rather than decorative or religious: the fabric twisted around their horns is meant to keep the horns from breaking if the cows get into a traffic accident on the overcrowded streets.

Further south the horns of cows and goats are painted in brilliant reds, blues, greens and yellows, and the streets on the way to the ancient man-made caves of Ellora are crowded with ox-carts sharing the road with cars, rickshaws and buses.

Camels are outfitted with garlands of pom poms, and so are long-haul trucks! The most elaborate trucks are painted with the eyes of a beautiful woman, covered in messages (like "Blow Horn" and "Use Dipper at Night") hand-painted in flamboyant fonts, and dripping with tassels that hang from their bumpers.

Somehow to my great regret I didn't manage to get a good picture of goats in their sweaters, but our new friends Marcio and Claudio, who we met in Agra, have some great photos of goats and cows and what they wear on their blog (in Portugese, but Google Translate does a pretty good job here). 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Boat Dress

 Image of Jacqueline Bradley: Boat Dress, from exhibition media, Craft Victoria

I'm absolutely in love with Jacqueline Bradley's Boat Dress, part of her exhibition The Outdoors Type, on now at Craft Victoria. The show comprises just five works (spoiler alert: I'm going to tell you about all of them), coming together in a surrealist blend of elegant design and childlike joy.

The show is dominated by two meticulously tailored whimsical costumes: Boat Dress, an inflatable boat turned summer frock, and Kite Jacket, a bright orange couture jacket that turns the wearer into a giant child's kite. All the details are considered, from matching orange bows on the oversized kite string to the tailored boat handles and air valve. Both works are wearable, and the viewer is invited to join in the fun by interacting with a tin boxed mutoscope (a kind of hand-cranked rotary flip-book) accompanying each outfit, showing a costumed figure frolicking in the outdoors.

The final work, Snake in the Long Grass Shoes, merges a pair of high heels in fabric matching the Boat Dress with metre-high ladder-stilts, embodying Jacqueline's intention to "make a space for the uncomfortable and unskilled when faced with the great outdoors."

I only wished the exhibition space was big enough to accommodate more of these fantastical pieces - but a larger version of the exhibition was shown at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space last year, and additional outdoorsy works can be seen on Jacqueline's website.

The Outdoors Type runs until 9 June.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

2 New Exhibitions by Kate Just

This weekend I went out to Ararat to see Kate Just: The Knitted Works (2004-2011) at Ararat Regional Art Gallery, a survey of Melbourne artist Kate Just's knitted sculptures including Paradise (pictured above), recently acquired by the Ararat Regional Art Gallery. Kate's knitted works are reinterpretations of autobiographical narratives, told through depictions of mythological figures and the female body. Paradise, for instance, is a contemporary re-telling of the story of Persephone voluntarily entering the underworld through a suburban lawn, and is simultaneously a representation of the artist's mother dealing with a tremendous grief. These life-size and larger works have all been created through the labour-intensive processes of hand knitting and machine knitting.

Well worth the trip to Ararat, this exhibition will run until 8 July.


Kate has another show opening this Thursday, 24 May, at Daine Singer Gallery in the city (325 Flinders Lane, downstairs). The Skin of Hope is an exhibition of new sculptures, photographs and video completed during Kate's recent Australia Council residency in Barcelona, and is an account of the ways in which the artist and her non-biological daughter Hope imprint and bond with each other at skin level. 

The Skin of Hope will run from 24 May - 30 June, with an artist talk Saturday 26 May at 3pm. 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Trinity Timeline

Trinity Timeline, an exhibition of new work by Christopher Earl Milbourne, will open next Friday 25 May at Middle of the Air Gallery, next to the Lux Foundry, 2 Lux Way, Brunswick and run for two weeks.

See you there on Friday!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Camels, Tubas and Pom Poms, Oh My!

The month I spent in India was coloured by the bright, incredibly detailed ornamentation that is virtually everywhere, even in the dustiest, driest landscapes. Australia Day is Republic Day in India, and this was the Republic Day Parade in Delhi: A pom-pom-bedecked camel marching band!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Power of Colour (in Polish)

My Bounce! pendants were featured last week in the Polish jewellery article The Power of Colour, by Gabriela Chmielarz. The text of the article, and the entire Polish jewellery publisher's website, are only available in Polish, but both the article and the site include some really interesting work.

If anyone reads Polish, I'd love to know more about what it says! I translated the article using Google Translate, but I don't know if I'm any closer to understanding the text. Google Translate says of my work, "Focusing on colour and action of light (transparency), creates Impressionistic visions." Sounds nice, but I have the feeling something was lost in translation...

Monday, 14 May 2012

New Studio

My new studio space, all set up and ready to go!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Save TAFE from $300 million in funding cuts

above image from Tafe4All on Facebook

Today's Rally to Save TAFE, outside the Victorian Premier's office. On 1 May the Ballieu government announced cuts of $300 million from funding to Victorian TAFEs, despite an agreement with the national government last month protecting TAFEs under the new National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development. The funding cuts will lead to sharp increases in TAFE fees and are expected to result in course closures, job losses, and closures of facilities. This is the largest funding cut to TAFE in history and affects 80% of TAFE courses.

Tafe4All has a list of things you can do to support Victorian TAFEs, including a sample email to send to Premier Ballieu and your local MP.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Art for Humanity

image of Michelle Morcos - 9Land Connections 2010, from

Art for Humanity: Painters and Jewellers for the Red Cross opens Tuesday 29 May at Depot II Gallery in the 2 Danks Street art complex, Waterloo, Sydney. The exhibition will be a fundraiser for the work of the Australian Red Cross, with pieces donated by painters and jewellers across Australia.

Contributing jewellery artists include Helena Bogucki, Zoe Brand, Danielle Butters, Melanie Ihnen, Bridget Kennedy, Saori Kita, Jessica McMullen, Mel Miller, Emma Wood, Shu-Lin Wu and Melinda Young.

Contributing painters include Mary Punchi Clement, Neil Evans, David Fairbairn, Christopher Hodges, Euan MacLeod, Michele Morcos, Nongirrya, Angus Nivison, Jan Weir, Phil Atson Williams, Salwa Woodroffe and Janie Ward.

I will be contributing an enamel and felt brooch to the exhibition from my Storytellers series:

100% of the retail value of this work will go to the Australian Red Cross.

Art for Humanity will run from 29 May - 9 June, with an opening reception Thursday 31 May from 6-8pm. RSVPs for the opening night are greatly appreciated by the gallery. To RSVP, email Irene Thom and Sally Thompson at

Monday, 7 May 2012

Wednesday - NMIT Jewellery Auction 2012

Just in time! A new pair of Bounce! earrings for the NMIT student jewellery auction this Wednesday.

Behind them is an incredible porcelain work by Brisbane-based ceramic artist Julie Shepherd, which I was lucky enough to receive as a wedding present.

The NMIT jewellery auction will be held this Wednesday 9 May at the Royal Melbourne Hotel, 629 Bourke Street, Melbourne. Viewing begins at 5:30pm; the live auction will begin at 7pm and the silent auction runs throughout the evening, closing at 8:30pm.

See you there!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Home Sweet Home

After three fantastic months traveling around the world on my honeymoon, it's back to reality.

Setting up a new studio, setting up a new house, sorting through over 3000 this elephant in India wearing an elephant-sized necklace. Incredible!

Many more travel photos coming soon!