Art exhibition giving survivors a voice
An exhibition two years in the making is bringing Women’s Refuge out of the shade and empowering the survivors of domestic violence.
Volunteer Margaret Little said the idea behind the exhibition at Pataka Museum was getting survivors to tell their own stories.
‘‘It’s a celebration of survival, strength and courage ... come out of the shade of guilt and shame.
‘‘We want to get away from calling people victims and call them survivors.’’
She said art from women and children in the Living with Violence programme would be joined by work from Arohata Prisoners, doctors and health workers.
Some of the work submitted by the community will be for sale to raise funds for the Porirua refuges.
Little is quick to point out that the exhibition isn’t about making money.
‘‘It’s not a fundraiser, it’s about giving women and children their voice.
‘‘It’s so that people can learn something from us and cease to be frightened. It’s a positive platform to discuss a community issue.’’
Women’s Refuge support worker Samara Welch said the exhibition would be a great conversation starter.
‘‘We want as many people as possible to come and take away what they need from it.
‘‘It’s a good platform to have a discussion on a different level instead of standing behind a table or with a collection bucket.’’
The exhibition is a combined venture between Whare Manaaki Porirua Womens Refuge, Te Whare Tiaki Wahine Refuge and Porirua Living without Violence.
The event ties in with their street appeal days on July 19 and 22.
‘‘I’ve been collecting before and people in Porirua are really generous. There’s lots of people behind us.’’
Welch said all money collected in Porirua would go towards the two Porirua refuges that pool their resources.
‘‘People can be sure that if they donate here in Porirua their money will stay here to help our community.’’
The Porirua organisation provides support and advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence from Newlands to Pukerua Bay.
Joining the Pieces exhibition runs from July 22 till August 21, all welcome.
Margaret Little and Samara Welch hold the artwork produced by a survivor of domestic violence that inspired the name of the exhibition ‘Joining the Pieces.’