Contemporary Jewellery (Australia and International)
Contemporary Craft (Australia)
Fields of Research (FoR)Crafts, Visual arts, Design, Human geography, Design anthropology
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...view more
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.
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
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 https://australiandesigncentre.com/past-exhibitions-and-events/aust-design-honours/
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
My Research Activities
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.
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.