1-5 December Circular Quay
11-12 December Circular Quay
22-23 December Circular Quay

Hi Everyone,

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the success of the UNSEEN Arts Hub during 2021. The success of UNSEEN has been due to all the participants, advocates, sponsors and volunteers who have enabled this project to come to life. A huge thank you also to the public who have come forward to listen to and share the stories of the women in the project. We will be running one more activation of UNSEEN on 22 & 23 December 2021 at Circular Quay as part of the City of Sydney activations. If you would like access to any of the images taken relating to the project for use in reports, click HERE to download images.
 
Please provide your feedback to support our new proposal:
  • We would greatly appreciate your feedback on the UNSEEN project as this will help to acknowledge the value the UNSEEN Arts Hub brings to our communities and support further activations. Please add your comments to our website feedback page HERE.
 
Please donate to provide a thank you to the participants of UNSEEN:
  • We would like to be able to provide special pamper treat and a celebratory QVB High Tea for each of the lived experience participants of UNSEEN. We are seeking your support to raise enough funds before Christmas for 25 participants @ $125 per person. Through donations already received we have received enough funds to support 8 of the women. We would greatly appreciate any contribution you can make to this, big or small, through our GoFundMe page by clicking HERE 
Passing of UNSEEN participant Dr Emily Stafford:
  • We would like to pay tribute to UNSEEN participant Dr Emily Stafford B.A. (SYD. 1992), B. Social Work (SYD. 1994), P.h.D (SYD. 2001) who passed away at the age of 54 on 11 November 2021. We offer our sincere condolences to her family, particularly her daughter, and her friends, students and colleagues who remember her fondly. Prior to experiencing homelessness, Emily had been a Senior Lecturer in Counselling at a leading university, and also had private practice as counsellor and psychotherapist. Emilywork focussed on the trauma experienced by child and adult survivors of child sexual abuse. With the support of Emily’s family, her Book Art will continue to be exhibited as part of the UNSEEN Project. Emily’s story can be seen HERE.
What’s next for the UNSEEN Arts Hub?
  • The next activation of UNSEEN will be in Maroubra with the support of Randwick Council in May–June 2022. We have also had interest from Parramatta, Newcastle and Wollongong regions.
  • I have attached the NSW Regional Tour proposal which will be going out to local councils and organisations with the support of Homelessness NSW. Throughout the proposed tour the women from the UNSEEN project will be collaborating as artists and advocates with regional women and their advocates . Please contact me if you would like a copy of the tour proposal or further information. The production of this booklet has been supported by Homelessness NSWThe women from the UNSEEN project will be participating as artists and advocates in the tour.
  • Jenny, Paula, Dieter and Belinda from Blur Projects will be supporting UNSEEN participant Jai create her Podcast “Thankfulness” with grant matching funding from the City of Sydney. The podcast will be launch at the Redfern Community Centre on International Womens Day 2022.
 
Response to UNSEEN activation December 2021
  • Although COVID-19 social distancing restrictions impacted on the amount of people visiting the Sydney CBD, we are pleased with the amount of COVID safe engagement which occurred, with on average 100 people stopping to look or participate in the Arts Hub activities
  • UNSEEN participant Roshee shared her experiences of family violence and homelessness with Caitlin Fitzsimmons from the Sydney Morning Herald in the story “NSW to lose 3360 affordable homes: See which suburbs get hit the hardest”.
  • UNSEEN participant Evie shared her story with the the Terrible Happy Place podcast in episode #132 – ‘EVIE: Nevertheless she persisted.’ Please read the show notes before listening as there is a trigger warning.
  • UNSEEN participant Alexandra Samootin’s lived experience was included in the Sydney Morning Herald, 5 Nov 2021, ‘I have nowhere for the grandchildren’ by Caitlan Fitzsimmons; Brisbane Times, 8 September 2021, ‘House price growth three times faster than wages over four decades’ by Caitlin Fitzsimmons; Northern Beaches Review, 8 September 2021, and by Allison Hore’s ‘Homelessness and over 55 in the Northern Beaches: ‘It could happen to any woman’ and Illawarra Mercury, 11 Sept 2021, ‘Alexandra Samootin was 64 when she was homeless. Here’s how she coped
  • City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore visited the UNSEEN Arts Hub to meet the women. Fiona was able to express thanks on behalf of the women and acknowledge the loss felt by the women of Emily’s passing.
  • Almost 1,000 QR code activations were made linking audiences to the UNSEEN website with 78% from iOS devices. 
  • UNSEEN’s Instagram had a 22% increase in followers since the rollout of the social media campaign featuring the participants and their quotes. Blur Projects campaign was supported by Artist Profile’s Erin McFadyen and volunteer Mai Rennie. 88.2% of followers were Australian with 51% residing in Sydney. 78% identified as female with 75% being under 44 years of age. 
  • Primary Communications won a Bronze award in the Pro Bono Campaign category of the Public Relations Institute of NSW industry awards for their work in supporting the UNSEEN Arts Hub.
  • Code Green won the Building Designers Association of Australia’s National Design Award for projects up to $100,000 for realising Belinda’s vision of the UNSEEN Arts Hub.
 
Summary of the December 2021 activation:
  • The launch of the important Ageing on the Edge ‘Home at Last’ Report into solutions to end homelessness amongst older people in NSW took place at the Unseen Arts Hub on Friday 3 December 2021. The launch was introduced by Glen Marie Frost with Welcome to Country by Aunty Roweena Jarrett. Dini Lianarachchi, Ageing on the Edge Advocacy Lead, delivered an overview of the report with reflections on the report and the urgent need to address homelessness given by Alex Greenwich MP, Rose Jackson MLC and Jenny Leong MP. Belinda introduced participants Lani, Carmen, Roshee, Jai, Denise and Sera to share their lived experiences of homelessness while Fiona spoke about the significance of ‘Walk a Mile in My Shoes’. A rousing performance by The Mooncatchers Women’s Choir completed a successful and well-received Launch.
  • We are very proud that the Head On Photo Festival selected the UNSEEN Chrome Car and Tiny House to be included in the 2021 program. UNSEEN shares the lived experiences of women’s homelessness with audiences.
  • Fiona’s “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” exhibition featured daily at the arts hub, stopping passersby in their tracks, many of whom took the time to carefully read and contemplate the stories of a broad range of women. Thank you to Rosie Batty, Chrissie Foster, Cathy Kezelman, June Oscar, June Riemer, Nicole Lee and Anne Sherry for donating their shoes and stories to this project. The shoes represent the many women in our communities, seen and unseen, who fight so hard advocating for change, human rights and social justice. These stories are often not heard and go unseen.
  • Dr Emily’s Book Art exhibition is delicate ad fragile just like the story of her life. Coming out was not a difficult event in Dr Emily’s life, she was accepted and loved. She grew up in a wonderful family, was given a great education, had an amazing job, found a wonderful partner, had a beautiful baby. Then everything fell apart and she found herself unexpectedly homeless. Book Art became a reflection of Emily’s passion for reading and education.
  • Evie’s powerful poetry readings of her journey, ‘Nevertheless She Persisted’ captured audiences with their honesty and raw emotion, “This conversation is confronting, uncomfortable (at times), educational, and straight-up no bullshit. We discuss violence against women, social inequity, religious trauma, homelessness and much, much more.” —Evie
  • Each day at UNSEEN Lani shared — with openness and feeling — her life growing up as an adoptee living on the lower North Shore but then becoming homeless at fourteen, living on the streets in Kings Cross, discovering her First Nations birth family, raising her children, seeing them given up for care, then finally returning to the city to find support, community and housing. Lani shared with us the dark times but also the great sense of belonging and community she encounters on the streets and offered us an opportunity not only for interest but also understanding.
  • Roshee is a Ngemba woman who has come through a life of childhood neglect, sexual abuse and homelessness to a strong desire to use art to raise awareness, advocate for change and create a community of support for others experiencing trauma and homelessness. Roshee worked with visitors to the UNSEEN Arts Hub to craft messages of hope, care and support for homeless women on paper dolls which were displayed near the Tiny House.
  • UNSEEN’s Artist in Residence for December was Sera who created her gilding artworks at the Unseen Chrome Car and Tiny House. ”So how could it have got to this. To homelessness? I had to walk away. I nearly lost everything. Only something deep within keeps me where I need to begin on this life’s journey’s end is not who, why, where or when. I am here now. In the present.” —Sera
  • UNSEEN: Sharing the lived experiences of women’s hidden homelessness. This exhibition at the UNSEEN Arts Hub was produced by women and their children who attend Bonnie’s Creatives groups. Bonnie Support Services exists to serve women and their children, supporting them to lead the best lives they can. They provide support and/or accommodation to women and their children who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or escaping domestic and family violence. They are essentially an all-female not-for-profit support service, working for more than 40 years with the women and children of South-Western Sydney and are committed to bringing their years of experience, understanding and best practice to make a real impact.’
  • UNSEEN was excited that the Sydney Street Choir, including participants Monica, Tina and Jess, performed at the Arts Hub in Circular Quay.The Sydney Street Choir has been changing lives through the power of song since 2001. They are a musical community that supports men and women dealing with homelessness, mental illness, addiction and/or social disadvantage.
  • In conjunction with the 16 Days of Activism, Aunty Dixie Link Gordon, Founder of the Breaking Silent Codes Network, held a Yarning Circle at UNSEEN Arts Hub in December 2021 about the unseen nature of First Nations Women’s experiences of domestic violence and homelessness.
  • Artist with disability, Caitlin brought her canvas to the UNSEEN Arts Hub to invite the public to sign it as an expression of a commitment to understanding the diversity of people and their experiences in the world and to think about how who becomes homeless and why. By participating in this collaborative artwork we recognise that we are all part of the problem and part of the solution of ending homelessness and housing insecurity. Caitlin shared the story that shaped her painting:”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 dealing with insurance company to get support.’ —Caitlin
  • Throughout 2021 the participants of the UNSEEN Project who presented their unique artworks offered their works for sale to raise money for women who have experienced homelessness and who are trying to re-establish their lives. Victoria sold vintage clothing, Peta and Roshee their paintings and Carmen created beautiful handmade Christmas decorations. ”For Young women who find themselves homeless like I did, be strong, love yourself. Love is not on the outside, love is here, inside your heart.” —Carmen
  • UNSEEN First Nations Artist Peta Link exhibited her paintings and created new artworks whilst at the UNSEEN Arts Hub. “Participating in UNSEEN was very emotional to begin with, the process of painting my artwork opened old wounds; but on the same token it allowed me to speak my truth, which is very empowering, knowing that I have survived to tell our story” —Aunty Peta
  • Special thanks to UNSEEN participant Jai who supported the creation of the Rough Edges photo exhibition which will be displayed on 22 & 23 December
  • Dieter, Liam, Denise, Jenny and Paula continued the filming of the UNSEEN documentary with Gina, Noor and Sue making special appearances, with volunteers Vincy, Rosie, Vince, Jordon and Helen supporting the film crew
  • Mon and Clare from Homelessness NSW supported the filming process and the participants as they engaged.
  • Special thanks to Aura from Share the Dignity provided “Its in the Bag” for the new UNSEEN participants
 
A HUGE thank you to the 2021 supporters of the UNSSEN Arts Hub:
  • City of Sydney for their financial and logistical support in activating the Unseen Arts Hub
  • Dr Jane Bullen for the fact sheets which gave a statistical insight into women’s homelessness
  • Women’s Electoral Lobby for supporting the grant application, donation portal and volunteer reach out
  • Blur Projects for realising Belinda’s vision for UNSEEN Arts Hub as a platform to share the narratives of womb lived experiences of hidden homelessness.
  • AutoSkin for chroming the UNSEEN Arts Hub and Chrome Car plus their incredible problem-solving and quick-thinking skills
  • Code Green for realising the vision of the UNSEEN Arts Hub
  • Soroptimist International’s, Hornsby, Hill Randwick and Sydney clubs, for their dedicated team of volunteers who supported the UNSEEN Arts Hub activations
  • Chris Knight for supporting the 16 Days activation
  • Spark Homes for constructing the UNSEEN Arts Hub
  • American Shingles for providing and installing the unique roof of the UNSEEN Tiny House
  • AWS for supplying the windows of the UNSEEN Tiny House
  • Access My Super for their support of the project
  • Linda Worland and Pets in the Park for their exhibition and advocacy at the UNSEEN Arts Hub
  • Sydney Street Choir for their amazing flash mob performances
  • Primary Communications for their pro bono communications
  • Artist Profile and Art Almanac for supporting the communications and social media
  • Simpsons Lawyers for their pro bono legal support
  • Homelessness NSW for the NSW Regional Tour Catalogue, participant lunches and support services
  • Share the Dignity for providing #ItsInTheBags for the UNSEEN participants
  • Head On Photo Festival for including the UNSEEN Arts Hub in the 2021 festival
  • VIVID for selecting the UNSEEN Arts Hub as part of the 2021 Festival
  • ARTPark for including the UNSEEN Arts Hub in their Walsh Bay Sculpture Walk
  • Walsh Bay precinct for hosting the Tiny House during COVID-19 July–August 2021
  • Ted’s Camera Store for supporting Homelessness in Focus and their exhibition at the UNSEEN Arts Hb
  • HandyKapp for the pro bono graphic design work
  • Martin Vosatka for his graphic design work
  • DV West for connecting us to women who chose to participate in UNSEEN
  • Women’s Housing Company for connecting us to women who chose to participate in UNSEEN
  • DV NSW for connecting us to women who chose to participate in UNSEEN
  • Ageing on the Edge for supporting the December activation of the UNSEEN Arts Hub
  • Bonnie Support Services for connecting us to women who chose to participate in UNSEEN, supporting the December activation and exhibiting the works created through their creative programs.
Seasons greetings and Happy New Year to you all,
Thank you once again,
Belinda Mason
Creative Director of Blur Projects

UNSEEN Arts Hub activities , performances and events

 UNSEEN schedule of events and links

Date Time Event  What’s On link
Wed

1 Dec

10:30am – 4:00pm “Walk a mile in my shoes” exhibition by Fiona Arnold https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-sharing-hidden-stories-of-women-and-homeyness
12:30pm  – 1:30pm Yarning Circle with Aunty Dixie Link Gordon, Founder of Breaking Silent Codes https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-breaking-silent-codes
2pm – 3pm ‘My Life’ performance by Lani about her experiences of homelessness https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-my-life-lived-experience-of-homelessness-by-lani
10:00am – 4:00pm “Paper Dolls” – messages of caring by Roshee

 

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-paper-dolls-messages-of-caring-by-roshee
10:00am – 4:00pm Emily’s Book Art display https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-dr-emilys-book-art-exhibition
10:00am – 4:30pm Exhibition by First Nations artist Peta  Link https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-exhibitions-of-first-nations-artist-aunty-peta-link
10:30am – 4:00pm Paintings by Sera
10:30am – 4:00pm Exhibition Bonnie Support Service exhibition
10:30am – 4:00pm Head On  Photo Festival – Arts Hub installation https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-head-on-photo-festival
Thurs

2 Dec

10:30am – 4:00pm “Walk a mile in my shoes” exhibition by Fiona Arnold https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-sharing-hidden-stories-of-women-and-homeyness
12:30pm  – 1:30pm Yarning Circle with Aunty Dixie Link Gordon, Founder of Breaking Silent Codes https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-breaking-silent-codes
2pm – 3pm ‘My Life’ performance by Lani about her experiences of homelessness https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-my-life-lived-experience-of-homelessness-by-lani
10:00am – 4:00pm “Paper Dolls” – messages of caring by Roshee

 

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-paper-dolls-messages-of-caring-by-roshee
10:00am – 4:00pm Emily’s Book Art display https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-dr-emilys-book-art-exhibition
10:00am – 4:30pm Exhibition by First Nations artist Peta  Link https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-exhibitions-of-first-nations-artist-aunty-peta-link
10:30am – 4:00pm Paintings by Sera
10:30am – 4:00pm Exhibition Bonnie Support Service exhibition
10:30am – 4:00pm Head On  Photo Festival – Arts Hub installation https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-head-on-photo-festival
Fri

3 Dec

10:30am – 4:00pm “Walk a mile in my shoes” exhibition by Fiona Arnold https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-sharing-hidden-stories-of-women-and-homeyness
11am – 12pm Ageing on the Edge Media Event – Launch of report Dini Liyanarachchi Ageing on the Edge Advocacy Lead

M: 0426 131 232

12:30pm – 1:30pm Sydney Street Choir https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-sydney-street-choir
10:00am – 4:00pm “Paper Dolls” – messages of caring by Roshee

 

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-paper-dolls-messages-of-caring-by-roshee
10:00am – 4:30pm Exhibition by First Nations artist Peta Link https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-exhibitions-of-first-nations-artist-aunty-peta-link
10:30am – 4:00pm Exhibition Bonnie Support Service exhibition
10:00am – 4:00pm Emily’s Book Art display https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-dr-emilys-book-art-exhibition
1:30pm-

2:30pm

Evie Poetry Readings https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-evie-nevertheless-she-persisted
10:30am – 4:00pm Head On Photo Festival – Arts Hub installation https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-head-on-photo-festival
10:30am – 4:00pm Filming Dieter Knierim Productions
Sat

4 Dec

10:30am – 4:00pm “Walk a mile in my shoes” exhibition by Fiona Arnold https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-sharing-hidden-stories-of-women-and-homeyness
10:00am – 4:00pm “Paper Dolls” – messages of caring by Roshee

 

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-paper-dolls-messages-of-caring-by-roshee
10:00am – 4:00pm Emily’s Book Art display https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-dr-emilys-book-art-exhibition
10:00am – 4:30pm Exhibition by First Nations artist Peta Link https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-exhibitions-of-first-nations-artist-aunty-peta-link
10:30am – 4:00pm Paintings by Sera
11:00

12:pm

Evie Poetry Readings https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-evie-nevertheless-she-persisted
10:30am – 4:00pm Head On Photo Festival – Arts Hub installation https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-head-on-photo-festival
10:30am – 4:00pm Filming Dieter Knierim Productions
Sun

5 Dec

 

10:30am – 4:00pm “Walk a mile in my shoes” exhibition by Fiona Arnold https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-sharing-hidden-stories-of-women-and-homeyness
10:00am – 4:00pm “Paper Dolls” – messages of caring by Roshee

 

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-paper-dolls-messages-of-caring-by-roshee
10:00am – 4:00pm Emily’s Book Art display https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-dr-emilys-book-art-exhibition
10:00am – 4:30pm Exhibition by First Nations artist Peta  Link https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-exhibitions-of-first-nations-artist-aunty-peta-link
10:30am – 4:00pm Paintings by Sera  https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/users/event?id=67R6jUPLFb620LW6EcOQgl
10:30am – 4:00pm Head On Photo Festival – Arts Hub installation https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-head-on-photo-festival
Sat

11 Dec

 

10am – 4:30pm Christmas Market Stall https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-christmas-markets
12pm – 1pm ‘My Life’ performance by Lani about her experiences of homelessness https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-my-life-lived-experience-of-homelessness-by-lani
10:00am – 4:00pm Exhibition of photography by Rough Edges  https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-rough-edges-photographic-exhibition
10:00am – 4:00pm “Paper Dolls” – messages of caring by Roshee

 

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-paper-dolls-messages-of-caring-by-roshee
10:30am – 4:00pm Head On Photo Festival – Arts Hub installation https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-head-on-photo-festival
10:30am – 4:00pm Filming Dieter Knierim Productions
Sun

12 Dec

10am – 4:30pm Christmas Market Stall https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-christmas-markets
10:00am – 4:00pm “Paper Dolls” – messages of caring by Roshee

 

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-paper-dolls-messages-of-caring-by-roshee
10:00am – 4:00pm Exhibition of photography by Rough Edges  https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-rough-edges-photographic-exhibition
12pm – 1pm ‘My Life’ performance by Lani about her experiences of homelessness https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-my-life-lived-experience-of-homelessness-by-lani
10:30am – 4:00pm Paintings by Sera
10:30am – 4:00pm Head On Photo Festival – Arts Hub installation https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-head-on-photo-festival
Wed

22 Dec

10:30am – 4:00pm Paintings by Sera
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm ‘My Life’ performance by Lani about her experiences of homelessness https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-my-life-lived-experience-of-homelessness-by-lani
10:00am – 4:00pm “Paper Dolls” – messages of caring by Roshee

 

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-paper-dolls-messages-of-caring-by-roshee
Thurs

23 Dec

10:30am – 4:00pm Paintings by Sera
10:00am – 4:00pm “Paper Dolls” – messages of caring by Roshee

 

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-paper-dolls-messages-of-caring-by-roshee
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm ‘My Life’ performance by Lani about her experiences of homelessness https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/unseen-my-life-lived-experience-of-homelessness-by-lani