Melinda Young is a contemporary jeweller based in Sydney. She has a Master of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. She has worked in several galleries, curated exhibitions and currently teaches in the Jewellery and Object Design Department at the Design Centre, Enmore. Melinda has participated in over 80 exhibitions in Australia and overseas since 1997, her practice spans exhibition work and a limited edition production range.
"The work in this exhibition comes from my ongoing jewellery project titled Take a Ball of Thread... The works are all made using pink cotton sewing thread from a large, found industrial spool. The project grew out of a desire to push the parameters of my practice, exploring both materiality and technique whilst creating wearable jewellery. The material was selected as it offers limitless potential for both jewellery fabrication and the conceptual interpretations its colour poses. The body of work presents a significant development of existing conceptual concerns within my practice over the past ten years; these include the abject and social/cultural attitudes to the interior and exterior nature of the feminine body.
In order to set guidelines for Take a Ball of Thread... I imposed several constraints for making the work: each piece in the project must include pink cotton sewing thread from an industrial spool containing thousands of metres, the project will be complete when the thread runs out, the pieces can (initially) only be made using materials already available in my studio, the pieces made must be wearable.
Despite these restrictive guidelines, there is a definite sense of freedom to each work. The intention is to bring about spontaneous responses to found objects and existing materials. The project has become a vehicle for pushing and re-working jewellery and craft based techniques and the works themselves provide unexpected juxtapositions of the precious and non-precious alongside an exploration of meaning. Take a ball of thread… comprises numerous small series of work each with a different visual theme and material application. The work produced is mostly inspired by the interior landscapes of the body; however there are also other references at play - including marine life and botany. The common thread of pink in the project brings with it a consideration of the multiplicity of playful and serious significance attached to the colour." Melinda Young, June 2009