Ms Melinda Young

Ms Melinda Young

Associate Lecturer

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 

Arts, Design & Architecture
School of Art & Design

Melinda Young'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 250 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 she received an APA Scholarship to undertake a PhD in the School Of Geography & Sustainable Communities at the University of Wollongong.

Melinda's extensive professional experience in the contemporary craft and design field since 1999 has included gallery management, curatorial projects and writing commissions. She writes regularly for various publications including Garland Magazine and has authored numerous essays and Education Kits for the Australian Design Centre. She is on the Board of the Australian Design Centre and an Editorial Board Member for Garland Magazine. 

Melinda has been teaching for over 20 years in community and tertiary education including Enmore Design Centre (TAFE NSW), Sydney College of the Arts. Since 2015 she has worked 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 also regularly teaches workshops for arts organisations, galleries, community groups and Makeshift, a non-profit NDIS provider whose focus is on creativity for mental wellbeing. 

Melinda has taught at UNSW Art & Design sessionally since 2002 and as an Associate Lecturer since 2017.

  • Journal articles | 2020
    Young M, 2020, 'Mapping the Tideline', Garland,
  • Creative Works (non-textual) | 2022
    Young M, 2022, New Golden Dreams, Second Look: remade and reimagined textiles, Barometer Gallery Paddington & Tamworth Regional Art Gallery, 26 October 2022 - 29 January 2023, medium: Woollen blanket & jumper off cuts, silk and cotton fabric remnants, tinsel, ghost net, polyester cord, jute, raffia, cotton & linen thread, crepe paper, plastic bags, lurex & wool yarn., at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2022
    Young M, 2022, Spider Vessel, Petite Miniature Textiles, Wangaratta Art Gallery, Wangaratta, Victoria, 18 June 2022 - 14 August 2022, medium: Raffia (natural and turmeric dyed), blanket threads, silk garment offcuts, found rope, dried miniature Spider Orchids., at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2022
    Young M, 2022, Stories Untold - Neckpiece Diptych, Profile: Contemporary Jewellery and Object Award, Australian Design Centre, Sydney & Hazelhurst Regional Art Gallery, 09 August 2022 - 29 January 2023, medium: Rusted objects, linen and cotton thread, cotton cloth, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2022
    Young M, 2022, Stormblown, Seed Stitch Contemporary Textile Award, Australian Design Centre & Tamworth Regional Art Gallery, 07 October 2022 - 16 November 2022, medium: Jute, wool, raffia, Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), Usnea Lichens, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2022
    Young M, 2022, The Bill Hold Parure, Meroogal Women's Art Prize, Meroogal House Corner West and Worrigee streets, Nowra NSW, 17 September 2022 - 22 April 2023, medium: Oxidised silver, vintage cotton table napkin and wooden embroidery hoop, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2021
    Young M, 2021, Pennyweight, Contemporary Wearables '21 Biennial Jewellery Award and Exhibition, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Toowooomba QLD, 04 September 2021 - 31 October 2021, medium: American pennies 1967-2001 (gilded bronze and zinc alloys - heat treated & degraded), brass bullet casings, oxidised 925 silver, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2021
    Young M, 2021, Stitched Up Neckpiece & Bib, The Neck, Craft ACT, Canberra, 25 May 2021 - 17 July 2021, medium: Stitched up Neckpiece; Fine silver (roll printed with heirloom lace and textiles), vintage wooden cotton reels, salvaged leather shoe lace, brass pins. 55 x 20 x 60mm (approx.) Stitched up Bib; Sterling silver, freshwater pearls, found coral, linen, calico, muslin, cotton, vintage textiles (including: silk handkerchief fragment, child’s cotton smock, gauze bandage, heirloom lace), vintage threads (including: silk, cotton, gossamer). 50 x 20 x 10mm (approx.), at:
    Curatorial Outputs | 2020
    Cahill L; Craswell P; Murray K; Hancock-Davis M; Young M, 2020, made/worn - Australian Contemporary Jewellery, exhibited at: Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie, NSW 30 June - 16 August 2020 Artisan, QLD 28 August - 10 October 2020 Cairns Art Gallery, QLD 23 October 2020 - 31 January 2021 Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW 20 February - 2 May 2021 Australian Design Centre, NSW 20 May - 7 July 2021 Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW 17 July - 5 September 2021 JamFactory, SA 9 December 2021 - 13 February 2022 Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, TAS 18 March – 15 May 2022 Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, VIC 4 June – 27 August 2022, - ,
    Creative Written Works | 2020
    Young M, 2020, Everything and Nothing : Jewellery Beyond Adornment, Australian Design Centre,
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2020
    Young M, 2020, Arcus/Adrift, isolate/make: Creative resilience in a Pandemic, Australian Design Centre, Sydney, 26 November 2020 - 27 January 2021, medium: Driftwood, marine debris, 925 silver, brass, bronze, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2018
    Young M, 2018, Future Relic, National Contemporary Jewellery Award 2018, Griffith Regional Art Gallery, NSW & Touring to Sturt Craft Centre, Mittagong, NSW, 10 August 2018 - 23 September 2018, medium: Marine plastics, multifilament fishing line, brass, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2018
    Young M, 2018, Groundfall Lei, Island Welcome, Craft Victoria, Melbourne, 02 June 2018 - 30 July 2018, medium: Found shell lei, oxidides 925 silver, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2018
    Young M, 2018, Landlines (I-Land Home) Installation, Landlines (I-Land Home), Atta Gallery, 4,6 Soi Charoenkrung 36 Charoenkrung Rd Bangkrak, Bangkok, Thailand, 07 September 2018 - 02 October 2018, medium: Mixed media including: Grasses, raffia, jute, wool, linen thread, fine silver, copper, coloured pencil, paint, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2018
    Young M, 2018, Sea Sketches (a collection of 5 neckpieces), Seashape, Craft Victoria, Melbourne, 04 September 2018 - 06 October 2018, medium: Found marine plastics, brass, 925 silver
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2018
    Young M, 2018, The scent of you... (Collection of 5 neckpieces), ReminiSCENT, May Space, 25 July 2018 - 11 August 2018, medium: Contemporary Jewellery, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2017
    Young M, 2017, Landlines Vessels, Saltbush, Pro Hart Outback Art Prize, Broken Hill Regional Art GAllery, 13 June 2017 - 30 August 2017, medium: Raffia, wool, grasses, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2016
    Young MH, 2016, Off the Wall by Melinda Young, Atta Gallery, Bangkok, 10 February 2016 - 27 March 2016, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2016
    Young MH, 2016, Grow your own, Grown Your Own, Craft ACT, Canberra, ACT, 09 September 2016 - 22 October 2016, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2016
    Young MH, 2016, Mari Funaki Contemporary Jewellery Award, Gallery Funaki, Melbourne, Mari Funaki Contemporary Jewellery Award, Gallery Funaki, Melbourne, 24 August 2016 - 24 September 2016, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2016
    Young MH, 2016, National Contemporary Jewellery Award, National Contemporary Jewellery Award, Griffith Regional Art Gallery, Griffith NSW, 13 August 2016 - 11 September 2016
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2016
    Young MH, 2016, Off the Wall solo exhibition by Melinda Young, Off the Wall by Melinda Young, Atta Gallery, Bangkok, 10 February 2016 - 27 March 2016, medium: Contemporary Jewellery, at:
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2014
    Young MH, 2014, A Fine Possession, A Fine Possession - Jewellery & Identity, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences - Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, NSW, 24 September 2014 - 22 May 2016, at:

2022 - Highly Commended, Profile, Jewellers & Metalsmiths Group of Australia (JMGA) & Australian Design Centre, NSW

2021 - Gunyah Artist in Residence, Worimi Country, North Arm Cove, NSW

2020 - Highly Commended, Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, South Australian Museum

2020 - APA Scholarship, University of Wollongong

2019 - Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching, UNSW 

2015 - Australian Design Centre Honouree, Australian Design Centre, NSW 

2014 - Artist in Residence, Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, supported by Regional Arts NSW CASP Grant

2006 - Profile Award for Established Artist, Jewellers & Metalsmiths Group of Australia (JMGA) NSW

Melinda Young is a contemporary jeweller and craftsperson whose practice-based research moves across contemporary jewellery, small objects, speculative vessels, textiles and curatorial projects.  The research Melinda undertook for her Master of Visual Arts 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. Her ongoing research in this area deals with the memorative affect of scent as expressed through cultural constructs of (invisible) adornment.

Recently Melinda's 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 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 Melinda has worked on a collaborative research project with Adelaide based artist Lauren Simeoni: unnatural, naturally. Lauren and Melinda work together to 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 they have presented over 15 iterations of their research through exhibitions, curatorial projects, workshops and participatory public artworks in Australia and overseas.

Melinda is currently undertaking a cross-disciplinary PhD at the Australian Centre for Culture Environment Society and Space (ACCESS), University of Wollongong. Her research 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 by investigating 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 Melinda's work; her methodology includes the recovery of leftover materials which are used to develop narrative, direct meaning and context for her 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 Melinda's work and the liminal space of the journey is frequently the site of making.

My Teaching

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.