2020 - current PhD Candidate, School of Geography & Sustainable Communities, University of Wollongong
2017 - Foundations of University Learning & Teaching Certificate (FULT), University fo NSW
2016 - Certificate III Floristry
2007 - Graduate Diploma of Vocational Education & Training, Charles Sturt University
2007 - Certificate IV Workplace Assessment & Training, Charles Sturt University
2002 - Master of Visual Arts, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney
1999 - Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons), Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney
Melinda's studio-based craft & research practice spans jewellery, textiles, installation and interactive public art projects. She has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally, participating in over 200 group and solo exhibitions since 1997 including recent solo exhibitions in Bangkok and Sydney. Her work is held in public collections in Australia and overseas and included in numerous publications. In 2020 Melinda received an APA Scholarship to undertake a PhD in the School Of Geography & Sustainable Communities at the University of Wollongong.
Melinda's professional experience in the contemporary craft and design field since 1999 has included gallery management, curatorial projects and writing commissions. She has been teaching for 20 years in community and tertiary education institutions including Enmore Design Centre (TAFE NSW), Sydney College of the Arts. Since 2015 she has been working with the Indigenous Jewellery Project, running workshops in communities and at Aboriginal Art Centres including Buku Larrnggay Mulka (NT), Ernabella (APY Lands) and Gab Titui Cultural Centre (Thursday Island).
Melinda has taught at UNSW Art & Design sessionally since 2002 and as an Associate Lecturer since 2017.
2020 - APA Scholarship, University of Wollongong
2019 - Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching, UNSW
2006 - Profile Award for Established Artist, Jewellers & Metalsmiths Group fo Australia (JMGA) NSW
I am a contemporary jeweller and craftsperson, my practice-based research moves across contemporary jewellery, small objects, speculative vessels, textiles and curatorial projects. The research I undertook for my MVA at Sydney College of the Arts was concerned with re-presenting the natural state of the body using the written and visual language of scent, abjection, the body and botany alongside sensory materials such as soap and wax, to reference the interior and exterior landscapes of the body via actual and speculative jewellery objects. Ongoing research in this area deals with the memorative affect of scent as expressed through cultural constructs of (invisible) adornment.
Recently my research has shifted from an investigation of the interior landscapes of the body to the exterior, the spaces the body inhabits and moves through – an awareness of the body in the landscape via artificial re-presentation of ‘the natural’ and most recently a focus on the actions of making – the line, the stitch, the trace. A residency at Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery in 2014 was a significant immersive research experience which led to the development of a new body of work, silver city dreams, an investigation of place through wearables, speculative vessels and small-scale textile works.
Since 2007 I have been working on a collaborative research project with Adelaide based artist Lauren Simeoni: unnatural, naturally. We explore ideas of permanence and impermanence and question of what it is to be ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’ via material use, making methods and the imposition of project briefs and extending to viewer response, participatory actions and behavioural observation/manipulation. Together we have presented over 15 iterations of our research through exhibitions, curatorial projects, workshops and participatory public artworks in Australia and overseas.
I am currently undertaking a cross-disciplinary PhD at the Australian Centre for Culture Environment Society and Space (ACCESS)University of Wollongong. My research project explores how the concept of place has developed as a common touchstone for the maker, wearer/user and viewer of contemporary jewellery and small craft objects. My research investigates how ‘objects carry traces’ (Ingold:2013 p.11) and how these traces help to distinguish and form personal narratives. Collected materials (both natural and ‘unnatural’) continue to be a constant presence in my work, the recovery of leftover materials is used to develop narrative, direct meaning and context for the research and its physical outcomes. The language of materials, collection and (re)use along with the action of moving through the landscape, the linearity of a journey rather than the abstract fictive space of the ‘excursion’ increasingly informs the production of the work. The liminal space of the journey is frequently the site of making.
I have been teaching in the tertiary sector and community education for 20 years. My teaching career has focussed on contemporary jewellery, craft and design practice. I have experience in studio-based teaching as well as underpinning technique, history, theory, conceptual and professional practice. My teaching practice is built on a foundation of openness, curiosity, care, kindness and the importance of creating a respectful, inclusive community of practice that embraces diversity.