The Women & # 39; s Art Initiative will debut at Te Manawa with an exhibition of art that speaks with strong words, Carly Thomas reports.
Words spoken on women who have experienced violence are not always words that should be. Women from The Women & # 39; s Art Initiative want you to know.
Their collective was nurtured by small beginnings seven years ago in a space generating art that allows women to tell their truth.
Do not call them victims because they say they are not.
It's a powerful group that has become known for its impressive exhibitions, and this year's program is about challenging the myths surrounding violence.
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The founder Karen Seccombe says that the exhibition is not meant to create compassion or pity. "We get a lot of this and it's often not helpful."
He says that when violence ceases, shame, guilt and misunderstanding is not always the case. Women from the group want society to think about their reactions, stop using words such as "victim" and start to see women for who they are.
"We need people to leave this exhibition, understand the influence and truth around some of these myths, and feel empowered to confront and question behaviors, negative social reactions and ways of thinking that perpetuate and justify the acceptance of power and control over women and children."
Their work says a lot.
The group meets once a week in their own space, and the way women interact with the collective depends on them. There are artistic articles, light coming through the windows, often boiled jug and a silent offer of possibilities and openness.
One of the women is working on a handwriting on a molded torso. It's a karakia who demands to be freed from all negativity "and the prison in which you were impersonated."
"People can interpret how they want to, but I did it for myself."
These works will be inhabited in Te Manawa for the first time, scattered in strange places where people can happen. And work is not always easy. But these women, with their stories, do not want to apologize for that. Seccombe claims that they have not edited their experiences because they make others feel uncomfortable.
"To do this, disinfect and minimize what has happened, and do not respect everything we have done to resist, survive, maintain normality, whatever it is, protect and educate, act, recover and fight for others. as we. "
These women are the authoritative voice on this subject and "it cost us a lot". They're just going to create the way they want. They are not meant to create beauty.
A large piece, over which another woman works, however, is beautiful. A big dark circle, a central figure in even darker shades and a creator in front of all that says it will soon add color.
"I challenge the myth that family violence leaves women corrupt and destroyed, and I wanted to show how darkness can lead to ultimate growth and potential, and we can recreate it from the dark."
Give back mana, he says: "to women and children, and see how women, this great tango, the place to bring life into this world, into education, part of the earth, all these fundamental things."
He says that when society can do it, when people can start to honor and value women, then domestic violence will decrease. That woman is fighting for it, and as a collective it is about this exhibition. This is repulsion.
"Do not think," Why does not she just leave? "Do not think," It can not be that bad. "Respect her and listen."
And women from this group are asking for one more thing. They say, go and see the exhibition and challenge, and when you leave, they want you to face this challenge.
"For us, for other women like us, for those whom you know and love, for your daughters, your sisters, yourself, for every woman or child wherever we are, we all deserve dignity, respect and security. . "
Ko Wai Ahau? The sixth exhibition at the end of the "Women & # 39; s Art Initiative" exhibition was opened on November 9 at the Museum of Art, Science and Technology in Te Manawa Palmerston North.