No Shame No Silence
In August 2017 a group of women marched to Parliament in the wind and rain to deliver a petition signed by over 2,800 people demanding a Royal Commission of Enquiry to the New Zealand Family Court. This march inspired Mai I te Pō ki te Ao Mārama No Shame No Silence exhibition, born to generate conversation about family violence and the implementation of family violence legislation in our Family Courts.
The Need/ Motivation
Most of us are touched by family violence in our lives, through our own experiences, family, friends, or colleagues. Lemonface Creative, along with a group of passionate individuals with a diverse skill base were the strategic and creative brains behind an art exhibition focused on raising awareness, cultivating conversation, and stimulating change around the issues of domestic violence and the treatment of survivors within the New Zealand Family Court system. Family violence is New Zealand’s great shame. It’s happening in our communities. It breeds in silence. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
As a self-directed project, we wanted to create more awareness, to cultivate conversations and empower people to talk about their stories. We created and curated an exhibition that gave a platform for survivors/victims of family violence to have their say through art, to give them a voice, to empower them to tell their story and encourage others to do the same.
We set the tone by creating a brand using the Kawakawa leaf as the hero.
We curated and created an exhibition that is still spoken about 5 years on. The bright green heart-shaped leaves of Kawakawa are a distinctive presence in the New Zealand bush, and Kawakawa medicinal properties are equally distinctive. Traditionally used by Māori not only as a medicine but also as a significant part of many ceremonies, Kawakawa is an important part of both the physical and spiritual worlds and revered for its innate healing power. Two Kawakawa, one intact leaf (grief), enveloping the bug eaten leaf (healing) provides one powerful concept.
The artwork was produced using printmaking techniques from the early 1900’s in a local printing studio as well more modern and conventional executions too – various pieces that used diverse methods as well as the other artists ranging from sculpture to painting (traditional and digital) and photography.The exhibition featured over 20 artists from all over New Zealand who were given the platform to comment freely on experience, observation and perspectives through their chosen art medium.
All whilst raising money for Backbone Collective and the local Women’s Refuge.
“This exhibition is unique”
Victoria Kaye-Simmons, Former Horowhenua District Councillor
“A message of hope that I give, is that events such as this, driven by Sarah-Jayne Shine, to invent this project, No Shame No Silence, is all about that profile, that is just so important.’’
Brendan Duffy, Former Mayor, Horowhenua District
“Thank you for your efforts in starting and continuing the conversation about domestic violence and the way the Family Court is treating women in New Zealand”
Jackie Blue, Human Rights Commission
You can read more in our No Shame No Silence case study.