The UNSEEN Project seeks to raise public awareness of women’s hidden homelessness  through the highly engaging mediums of art, installation and performance — to make the unseen, seen. To do this, UNSEEN Project empowers women who have or who are experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity to be at the forefront and lead the work, telling their stories of lived experience, powerfully, with passion, and with great immediacy, integrity and impact through their painting, photography, installation, spoken word, poetry, performance  and yarning circles. The women artists of UNSEEN come from all over Sydney, and as the UNSEEN Arts Hub tours the regions, from all over New South Wales. They come from all ages, all socio-economic backgrounds, all cultures and languages, from First Nations and from the Disability and LGBTQI communities. Because being homeless is not who you are — it’s what happens to you… to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Below are some of the artists and some of the arts-based programs who have participated in and displayed or performed their works at the UNSEEN Arts Hub throughout 2021.

Artists with lived experience of homelessness, or whose work attends to the issue, are invited to submit their work for display at the UNSEEN Arts Hub. Organisations which have arts-based programs are also invited to use the UNSEEN Arts Hub to showcase the painting, photography, poetry, song, dance, craft and performance produced by women who have or are experiencing homelessness.

Please email Belinda at or call 0414787788 to discuss your proposal.

Artists participating in the UNSEEN project include:

Belinda Mason
Bio: Since 2000, Belinda Mason has conceptualised, produced and presented high-quality engaging socio-cultural multimedia projects for national and international audiences which create a focal point for conversations of social change. She has recorded the stories of over a thousand Australians and in doing so has captured the social and political history of Australia’s marginalised communities. Her work had been showcased at the United Nations in Geneva and New York in conjunction with six key human rights events including the 2013 & 2016 Commission on the Rights of Persons with Disability, 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Persons and 2016, 2018 & 2020 Commission on the Status of Women. Belinda is the winner of the Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture,  Moran Prize for Contemporary Photography, Perth Centre for Photography Iris Award and Australian Human Rights Awards for Photography. Collections of her works are held in Murray Arts Museum Albury, Museum of Sex New York, Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies,  Australian Museum, and Australian National Maritime Museum.
UNSEEN artwork: As well as conceiving and being the Creative Director of the UNSEEN Project to raise awareness of women’s hidden homelessness, Belinda is also the creator of the unique Chrome Tiny House and Chrome Car, the highly visible and engaging centrepieces of the UNSEEN Arts Hub around which all the creative activities of the women artists involved in the UNSEEN project take place.

Fiona Arnold
Fiona Arnold is a community worker and has been an interdisciplinary artist for 30+ years. Fiona has personal experience of homelessness during which she sought safety and community in her local library.
UNSEEN artwork:
‘Walk a mile in my shoes’ is the title of Fiona Arnold’s highly engaging art installation consisting of many pairs of shoes laid out on the street, exhibited or suspended, each accompanied by a large tag on which their owners have shared the story of the shoes and of their lives.
Artist Statement: “The shoes are a snap-shot of portraits of women’s lives and written stories. They represent different intersections of life, some confronting homelessness, abuse, addiction, mental illness, disability, poverty, sexuality, aging, racism, domestic violence, loss, unemployment and seeking asylum. The shoes represent the women in our communities who fight so hard advocating for change, human rights and social justice. These stories are often not heard and go unseen.  The visual impact of ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’ enables the inclusion of many women’s stories to be told and collectively seen.” — Fiona Arnold

Linda Warlond
: Linda Warlond is a Sydney-based photographer who also has a background in veterinary nursing. Linda’s love for animals guided her down the path to co-found the charity Pets in the Park, which aims to support homeless people who live with animal companions. When not rolling up her sleeves up to help as a vet nurse at the Darlinghurst clinic, Linda also takes on the role of volunteer photographer, snapping photos on the fly of the clinic in action.
UNSEEN artwork: Linda’s images in the May 2021 UNSEEN installation included a combination of impromptu photos taken at the clinic combined with images from her ‘Love is the Colour’ exhibition – a series of portraits that reveal the love and enrichment pets give their owners who are homeless. The aim of this personal project was to produce strong and sympathetic images that would help raise awareness of those experiencing homelessness in Sydney.
Artist Statement: “Working on this series of black and white portraits and meeting the people behind the exterior has been a pleasure and a privilege and is often very moving.  Everyone has a story to tell, but many of these lives are much more extreme in both their simplicity and their complexity. Interacting with these fascinating faces of our city and their animal companions is a project very close to my heart.” — Linda

UNSEEN artwork
: Caitlin has created a large painting on unmounted canvas expressing her experiences of homelessness which may be laid on the pavement or suspended. Visitors to UNSEEN are invited to collaborate by adding to the painting, contributing their own experiences of adversity.
Artist Statement: “The blue in my painting is water, the brown in my painting is the dirty water that consumed my home, and the red is representative of the stress I experienced navigating dealings with the insurance company to get support. Below is the story that shaped my painting. It is so hard to share my story because I never thought I would become a statistic anymore that what I was already – being a woman with physical disability – cerebral palsy. I never dreamed I would experience homelessness, as growing up my family homes were safe havens – providing security, surety, and support. Then everything changed – on 8 February 2020 – dirty flood water entered my home due to a building construction flaw. The dirty flood water consumed my home taking with it objects of sentiment and memories.” — Caitlin

Dieter Knierim
Bio: Videographer Dieter Knierim completed his International Baccalaureate, whilst studying a Certificate lV in Screen and Film at Metro Screen, Sydney. He is a graduate of a Bachelor of Arts Communications (Media and Production) at University of Technology, Sydney. In 2017, Dieter was invited by ScreenAbility to participate in an internship with ABC Television as Editor on the program You Can’t Ask That. Also through ScreenAbility he was afforded the opportunity to be an assistant Editor with SBS Television working on Eurovision. This led to him receiving funding from ScreenAbility to create a documentary film, Intimate Encounters: 20 Years On, which has been included in the 2018 Sydney Film Festival and is currently showing on ABC iView. Dieter’s work with Blur Projects includes Outing Disability, Offside, One Life, Serving Country, Unfinished Business, Breaking Silent Codes, Black on White and Silent Tears. His work is held in collection with MAMA, Maritime Museum, Australian Museum and Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.
UNSEEN artwork: Dieter has recorded numerous activities and events at the UNSEEN Arts Hub throughout 2021 and a number of these are featured on this website. Dieter is also cinematographer and editor for the upcoming short documentary being produced UNSEEN: women’s hidden homelessness.

Jai Jaru
UNSEEN artwork
: Photographer Jai Jaru exhibited her exhibition Lost Perspectives at the UNSEEN Arts Hub in 2021 as well as contributing works to the Rough Edges and Homeless in Focus photo exhibitions which also displayed at UNSEEN. In 2022 Jai will be producing her podcast ‘Thankfulness’ for UNSEEN. In this she interviews people who wish to express their thankfulness to someone who has made a difference to their lives.
Artist Statement: “I originally came to Sydney to jump off the harbour bridge…. that was more than 20 years ago.  I then spent the next ten years on and off the streets, between refuges, temporary housing and supported accommodation. I was a regular visitor to the local psychiatric units and only last year managed more than twelve consecutive months without an admission. Through my ups and downs I’ve found that I need to believe in God (or a higher being), in humanity and in myself. The other important part in my journey is having individual people believe in me. My family by blood, through adoption, by choice and through circumstances. Being part of the UNSEEN Project has been an opportunity for me to connect with other women who have walked a similar path of adversity and find some solidarity and strength in seeing how others move through this.  I am reminded that while there continue to be women facing complex and diverse challenges to long term safe and sustainable housing – we as a community have a responsibility to ensure that their voices are heard. That these women are SEEN and their needs addressed. One thing I really hope happens from this exhibition is that it can be a conversation starter.” — Jai

Emily Stafford
: Dr Emily Stafford BA, B SocWk, PhD. was a highly educated academic who had her own private practice in social work and a beautiful home and family when she found herself unexpectedly homeless after a string of unforeseen changes and circumstances. Emily was an integral part of the UNSEEN Project. Sadly, Emily passed away in late 2021.
UNSEEN artwork: Emily was Artist in Residence for the April 2021 activation of the UNSEEN Project. Emily began reading at the age of 4 years.  She never stopped, even when she experienced homelessness. Emily discovered Book Art at her local Library and produced many beautiful decorated book art creations for the UNSEEN Arts Hub. UNSEEN continues to display Emily’s books. Emily’s comprehensive and moving story of her life, as shared with UNSEEN, is a powerful testament to how homelessness can affect anyone, and is a hugely valuable contribution to the grass-roots first person narrative of women’s hidden homelessness.
Artist Statement: “I love libraries as places full of ideas and possibilities that are also places of solitude,  quiet and safety, where my own thoughts can take flight.  Somewhere to dream and just be.  A good story can take you to places you’ve never been.  Perhaps immersed into a combination of reality and fantasy.  I began writing as a young adolescent.  It was in part a way of letting myself be seen and heard in my world,  my own lived experience. A famous quote of which I am fond says “Some people see things that have happened and ask ‘why?”‘.  I imagine things that have not happened yet and ask ‘why not?’. I started book folding or book art in my early forties.  It was something that I came across by accident.  My local library had a display of book art all around its foyer.  When I questioned the  librarian about it out of curiosity,  she explained.  At first,  as an avid reader who sees books as somewhat sacred,  I was affronted by the idea of folding them up.  She went on to explain that each month many many books were taken in a skip to become landfill at the rubbish tip – necessary to create space for the new books being written and arriving.  So,  I began re-inventing (or up-cycling as it is often referred to ),  many many books.  They occupy a place in my home alongside of my other books.  Enjoy.” — Emily

Paula Karydis
 Paula volunteers for Blur Projects, including UNSEEN, and is a keen amateur photographer.
UNSEEN artwork: Two of Paula’s photographs exploring the themes of being unseen, lost and homeless will be included in the UNSEEN exhibition at NSW Parliament House which was postponed in 2021 due to COVID. New dates to be confirmed in 2022.
Artist statement: “I first met Belinda Mason almost twenty years ago now. She had photographed my husband for her exhibition ‘Intimate Encounters’. We became friends and over the years I’ve helped in various ways in a number of her projects. For UNSEEN, I’ve volunteered and taken photographs. I came to photography late in life. It helped me deal with my husband’s progressive condition and death. I was in a dark place. Photography took me back up into the light. I like photographing reflections. You peer into them, into another world, that is this world, but isn’t; distorted, fractured, layers beyond layers, complex, confusing. You get drawn in, sucked in, fooled, lost. Like life. I look at the Unseen House and the Unseen Car and I keep seeing reflections of a world that is confusing, distorted, broken. Like life when nothing is certain anymore, nothing is fixed, or clear. Like when you have no safe mooring anymore, no direction home. Homeless. I think I see a woman there. But not quite there, confused, unclear. She’s difficult to see, unless you look. Is she trying to get out, or is she trying to get in, trying to get home? Is she me, or is she you? If not today, maybe tomorrow?” — Paula

Terri O.
UNSEEN artwork: Terri O. is a keen photographer who participates in St John’s Community Rough Edges New Skills photography program. Terri’s photographs are included in the Homeless in Focus photo exhibition at UNSEEN Arts Hub and will be included in the UNSEEN exhibition at NSW Parliament House which was postponed in 2021 due to COVID. New dates to be confirmed in 2022.
Artist Statement: 
“I was brought up in Alcoholism, DV, Incest. Homeless at 15. Unseen project is a creative way showing women’s experience in life. Feeling powerless over and surviving the best way they can. Homelessness – There’s support out there for the basics. Then the drop in centres that can help with short term accommodation. And put your name on housing.” — Terri

Peta Link
UNSEEN artwork:
Peta Link is a talented First Nations artist whose paintings and multi-media artworks using found and natural materials have been exhibited throughout December 2021 at the UNSEEN Arts Hub. Peta has been selling her artworks at the UNSEEN Christmas Markets to raise funds for women experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.
Artist Statement“I have two paintings in the UNSEEN exhibition. This acrylic painting pictured is titled Holding On. It is a representation of my experience of homelessness, when my daughter was sexually assaulted! We had to flee the community, and leave our home. Some doors were “open“ but I felt  they didn’t really want to let us in there! I’m lost, I feel broken, but I know I have to keep going for me and my family. The moon is the highest point of emotional turmoil. The rain is many tears that I cried, that my babies cried, and my old people cried for us. The home is our new found sanctuary. We are still slipping back and forth into emotionally dark places,  still trying to find our inner peace. But we are ok ! We will keep going!My second painting is mixed medium, with oil paints on canvas and is titled Which way is home? I ask myself which way is home?, I seek guidance, I seek stability, I seek safety. My life has been disrupted, I have been displaced. Which way is home? Refuges and homes take care of our immediate need of shelter, but dealing with the emotional damage of why we were homeless in the first place is the aftermath!” — Peta

Jenny Kapp
Jenny Kapp is a qualified professional with years of experience in the fields of project management, learning, communications, and film editing and sound. Her responsibilities on screen projects have included post-production, transcriptions, captioning, sourcing stock footage and music, assembly editing and editing in Premiere Pro and Avid. Previously Jenny has worked as the Learning and Project Officers for Western Sydney TAFE and for NSW Fire and Rescue. Jenny is currently Learning Administrator for the ABC.
UNSEEN artwork: Jenny is a keen photographer and her photos will be included in the UNSEEN exhibition at NSW Parliament House which was postponed in 2021 due to COVID. New dates to be confirmed in 2022.
Artist Statement: “I started taking photos by accident on a holiday in 2012. The phone wasn’t as heavy as other cameras I’d tried, and I could check my shots straight away to see what they looked like. Taking photos on a phone, while balancing on elbow crutches, still means a lot of my photos come out at weird angles. People always ask about the angles. I’ve realised they actually represent the way I see the world. Photography has given me a new way to communicate how important unique perspectives are and to try to get closer to understanding other people’s perspectives and life stories. The most important stories are the ones we haven’t heard yet and I’m always searching for a way to find and tell those stories.” — Jenny

Roshee Taylor
First Nations woman with disability Roshee survived child sexual abuse to find love and raise a family with her first husband. Sadly, her second marriage was filled with abuse. Roshee became homeless when her employer reduced her hours after she became the whistleblower in a case.
UNSEEN artwork: Each day at the UNSEEN Arts Hub, Roshee will be going amongst members of the public encouraging them to craft decorated personal messages of hope and support to women experiencing homelessness onto paper dolls which she will then form into an art installation around the Chrome Tiny House for all to see. Often all it takes is a caring word to lift someone’s spirits.
Artist Statement:
The feeling of creating ART is one of comfort
I dissociate and gently leave my body
Floating calm and relaxed
In this moment
I am safe
I am happy
I am healing” — Roshee

UNSEEN artwork:
Sera was Artist in Residence at the December activation of UNSEEN Arts Hub. Sera has created and exhibited a number of paintings and multimedia artworks at UNSEEN. Sera uses a variety of paints, styles and materials including gilding and has created her multimedia artworks onsite at the UNSEEN Arts Hub as an engaging performative piece. Sera has also contributed her professional skills in welding and coach building to support the UNSEEN project.
Artist Statement: “COVID-19 brought on different aspects of society that I knew, but because of the pandemic people started to behave differently because they weren’t coping with the lockdown and isolation, but it didn’t bother me as I thought I could focus on my life, future, and healing from the trauma in my life that resulted in my homelessness. This included escaping a violent relationship with a same sex partner. I have made a consciousness decision not to be a victim or survivor any longer and to live a life free from trauma and violence. But the misogynistic nature of the system has not supported me in my quest for an independent life in a safe environment. The COVID-19 pandemic made me a target for those not coping with the lockdown restrictions. Today I am in survival mode, as I’m back in an unsafe, traumatic, and violent environment – not by my own choosing but by a system that has placed me there by those who are despondent and with any duty of care required to place women who have experienced what I have in safe accommodation. I recently moved from accommodation that I felt unsafe in to another accommodation which was even worse. I had my electric bike stolen by men who entered unaccompanied in what was supposed to be a women’s only residence. My bike was my only form of independent transport. I was given a false sense of security, as my dad said once, ‘locks only keep good people out’.  How was I placed in jeopardy by a system that places me in accommodation that is unsafe? How is it supposed to work when there is no-one to hold anyone accountable? My request for support is handed around like ‘pass the parcel’? How can I regain my independence from the system? I did not expect ‘my truth’ to be used as a weapon against me. I feel ignored, judged and unsupported by society which leads to frustration. This frustration is read as a behavioural problem rather than recognising that the system fails women, particularly those who have been subjected to childhood trauma. I didn’t not expect that my life would unfold where I would then find myself in a DV relationship which, after leaving, resulted in further trauma and homelessness. I need a safe place to heal, grow and find my independence which will allow me carve a safe pathway for us all to heal and change society and secure an equitable and safe future for young women.”  — Sera

Alexandra S.
Bio: Fourteen years ago, unethical and fraudulent dealings left Alexandra saddled with someone else’s debt, declared bankrupt and then evicted from her home which had been sold from underneath her without her knowledge. She now lives in social housing.
UNSEEN artwork: For the UNSEEN project Alexandra has hand-knitted some of the colourful scarves she makes for homeless people. Beautiful and practical.
Artist Statement: “I started knitting scarves to soothe my rattled nerves.  I was going to the Courts with a prayer for the return of my marital property.  My ex-husband with the aid of an unethical solicitor, and without my knowledge and consent, had transferred the marital home, property and monies to a third party (male), who was a stranger to me. Whenever I finished knitting a man’s scarf, I would bundle the scarf in a plastic bag, and leave it at a homeless man’s street abode in the Sydney CBD area. I could not see any homeless women living on the street footpaths.  Little did I realize that homeless women are UNSEEN.  I had knitted an abundance of scarves for women. Then I became a “HOMELESS” person myself. Due to malfeasance of the law, at the age of 64 I was illegally evicted from my marital home by a court judge into the street with no assets.  I had become a “homeless person” within a few seconds.” — Alexandra

Carmen S.
Carmen was forced to leave an abusive marriage, but because of economic circumstances in Argentina she left her children with her husband and come to Australia to seek a better life for her boys. She lived in a succession of insecure housing, backpackers’ hostels and rented rooms while she worked hard as a domestic, caterer and waitress to be able to bring her children out to join her. Throughout hard times Carmen’s personal faith has been a mainstay. She says that “forgiveness and love have been her weapons and her strength.”
UNSEEN artwork: Carmen handcrafts intricate and beautiful Christmas decorations from coloured papers and other simple materials. Carmen sold her decorations at the UNSEEN Art Hub Christmas Market in December to raise money for women with lived experiences of homelessness.
Artist Statement: “My message to all women is that love is not on the outside, it is on the inside. Inside your self. You need to love and respect yourself first. I have been homeless, I know what it is like.” — Carmen

Dixie Link Gordon
Dixie Link-Gordon is a proud Gooreng Gooreng woman from South East Queensland, now resident in NSW and is the Senior Community Access Officer for the Indigenous Women’s Legal Program of the Women’s Legal Service. Aunty Dixie Link Gordon is the Founder of Breaking Silent Codes and a Founding Member of the Mudgin-gal Aboriginal Womens Corporation and works as a Domestic Violence Community Educator and Advocate to deliver culturally appropriate services and improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
UNSEEN artwork: During December 2021 Aunty Dixie Link Gordon ran a number of yarning circles supported by her daughters and granddaughters.

Adopted as a child, Lani lived in the prestigious eastern suburbs of Sydney. Within a few years, she had become homeless facing relentless abusive racism. She aquired physical disability from physical abuse and self-medication with drugs.
UNSEEN artwork: We don’t always have the opportunity to hear the inside story on homelessness — direct from someone who has lived the journey. Each day at UNSEEN Arts Hub Lani shares with us her life story: the dark times she has faced but also the great sense of belonging and community she encounters on the streets and offers us an opportunity for interest and understanding.
Artist Statement“I’m speaking out for the people who can’t speak, who don’t have a voice. I became homeless through domestic violence when I was 14. Becoming homeless is a very sad thing because everything’s been taken away from you, just snatched from under your feet. It can be a very scary thing for people who have no hope in life and think that everything’s just going to end. Homelessness is not a choice; homelessness can happen to you, it can happen to anyone, especially during COVID.” — Lani

After finally leaving her violent partner, Evie found herself unable to find a landlord willing to lease private housing to her and her young son. Her only choice was to ask her abusive partner to sign the lease on her behalf. Evie is reminded daily of her grandmother’s choice to suicide rather than stay in an abusive relationship. Each of Evie’s tattoos has a very specific meaning in her life. The sunflower is about light, and how sunflowers turn to each other when there is no light. Today Evie draws on her experience of domestic violence and homelessness to support others. She works closely with migrant women who have experienced trauma and conducts extensive academic research on this important topic. In 2016, Evie became Local Woman of the Year. Evie also writes poetry to share her experiences with a wider audience.
UNSEEN artwork: Evie’s powerful poetry is unashamedly confronting, educational, and straight-up with no candy coating. Evie’s poetry reading discusses violence against women, social inequity, religious trauma and much much more. This might be one of the most profound poetry readings you will hear, so buckle in. Trigger warning for those inquiring to attend.
Artist Statement:
“Unlearning shame is not mine to carry.
Unlearning to hide from pain.
Unlearning to keep secrets.
Unlearning to keep it in.
Unlearning to accept apologies.
Unlearning who I am not.
Unlearning what defines me.
Unlearning my strength.” —


Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association
Bio: T
he Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association (IWSA) is a key community-based organisation providing advocacy, support, education and information to women of non-English speaking backgrounds in NSW. They offer services to women who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness; and women who are experiencing or have who have experienced domestic or family violence and abuse.
UNSEEN artwork: a range of artworks and material culture made by immigrant and refugee women will be included in the UNSEEN exhibition at NSW Parliament House which was postponed in 2021 due to COVID. New dates to be confirmed in 2022.
Artist Statement: “We dream of a society that values the rich and diverse contributions of immigrant and refugee women. We endeavor to encourage culturally and linguistically diverse women by empowering them to access the resources they need to live independently – free of violence, oppression, exploitation, and discrimination.” —IWSA

Homeless in Focus
Bio: Homeless in Focus, originally known as Café Art Australia, is a social venture connecting people affected by homelessness with the wider community through a film photography competition, an annual photography exhibition and the MySydney calendar. The goal of Homeless in Focus is to empower people affected by or at risk of homelessness by providing an opportunity to develop their skills and build self-esteem. To do this single-use film cameras are given to people who are currently homeless or have recently experienced homelessness and instruction is given on how to use the cameras and guidance on taking good photos. After the participants have taken their photos the cameras are collected, developed at the Fujifilm lab at Ted’s World of Imaging and a panel of professional photographers short-list 20 finalists for a public exhibition at the Ilford Galerie at Ted’s Cameras. The photos also appear in the annual MySydney calendar which is sold to raise money for selected charities.
When printing and framing the photos Ted’s ensure they provide premium image and colour quality to not only allow the winners to have their images selected as part of the MySydney calendar but also to provide them the opportunity of seeing their work as a professional exhibited piece in line with the standard of work produced for exhibitions by professional photographers.
UNSEEN artwork: At the UNSEEN Arts Hub in 2021 Homeless in Focus exhibited photos from a number of women photographers being a combination of the 2020 exhibition and also winners from previous years.

Rough Edges
Bio: St John’s Community Services, Rough Edges, provides free New Skills workshops for people experiencing homelessness, marginalisation and disadvantage. The opportunity for self-expression is important to all people more so for those overlooked by society. Providing opportunities for Rough Edges patrons to explore self-expression is an important aspect of their New Skills programs. The New Skills, Photography program, designed by Rough Edges Team Leader Ryan Naoum and Cultural Sector Consultant and Producer Alexander Moffatt, and produced by Alexander Moffatt, fosters such opportunities for self-expression, for social participation and for increased self-esteem through learning, and builds a pathway to employment or further study. The program begins with a ten-week series of workshops, delivered in two parts, that introduce participants to photographic genres, concepts and techniques through practical exercises and group discussion.
UNSEEN artwork: The photographic works exhibited at the UNSEEN Arts Hub were made by the most recent group of New Skills, Photography participants, a passionate group of women with a genuine love of photography tutored by photographer and educator Fiona Wolf of Wolfwerk Photography.