Monday 17 to Sunday 23 May 2021

Hi Everyone,

The May activation of the UNSEEN project in Martin Place went extremely well. Thank you to all the participants for making the project come alive and all the volunteers from WEL, Blur and Soroptimist that supported this activation. Another ten women came forward to share their stories of homelessness and housing insecurity through the UNSEEN Project. This brings the total number of women participating in UNSEEN Project to twenty. Over the next few months these women’s stories and images will be added to the UNSEEN website. Of these women, Carmen, Alexandra, Evie and Sera have expressed interest in creating artworks which will be exhibited at NSW Parliament House as part of the UNSEEN Project. We are also very proud to have Fiona Wolfwerk and Alexander Moffatt working in collaboration with women from Rough Edges to produce works which will feature in the exhibition in NSW Parliament House. In addition, it has been wonderful to learn today that Jane from Immigrant Women’s Speakout is providing support for women in their network to create an installation which will appear in NSW Parliament House also.

We wish to say a big thank you to Soroptimist for providing the funds to support both Roshee and Sera create their artworks. We do hope that more donations will come forward to support the other new artists. Please feel free to contact me direct if you would like to provide a gift voucher from Eckerlsey Art Supplies to one of the women, or if you prefer, please let me know that you have made a specific donation for the new artists via WEL’s tax deductible portal  We are very pleased that the WEL donation portal allowed funds to be raised which support the project and hope that you can send this link to your contacts so that further funds can be raised to support these new artists in the project.

Marwan from Auto Skin added more Chrome panels to the UNSEEN Chrome Tiny House allowing the house to slowly progress as planned to become UNSEEN enabling the public to engage in the topic of homelessness and social and affordable housing as the Tiny House becomes less visible. When the June activation begins next week Marwan will have the Tiny House completely chromed.

I do have one more pice of great news. Our application to Nigel Messenger from ARTPark to exhibit the UNSEEN Chrome Tiny House and Chrome Car installation at Walsh Bay during the periods when the installation is not in Martin Place or Circular Quay has been accepted. This means the installation will form part of the Walsh Bay Sculpture walk between May and August 2021. This opportunity affords the UNSEEN Project the ability to gain valuable exposure to a wider audience. Our thanks goes out to Nigel for all the hard work he did in negotiating this with the various stakeholders across the Walsh Bay precinct.

May activities 

The theme of May was in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month and International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Here are some of the activities that occurred at the UNSEEN Tiny House and Car:

  • The large gallery window featured photographs by Linda Worland, one of the founders of Pets in the Park. Linda’s images in this installation are images from her ‘Love is the Colour’ (2015) exhibition – a series of portraits that reveal the love and enrichment pets give their owners who are homeless. Pets in the Park (PITP) aims to support and improve the wellbeing of homeless people living with animal companions. Many people experiencing homelessness own pets that play a significant role in their lives. These much-loved pets offer unconditional love, companionship, emotional support and security; basic human needs that are often not met elsewhere.
  • Participant in the UNSEEN project, Emily Stafford, was the UNSEEN artist in residence and many members of the public came to sit with her and learn about and participate in making book art. Emily will be at the tiny house again in June working on her installation for the exhibition at NSW Parliament House in August.
  • Participant in the UNSEEN project, Roshee engage with the public to craft messages on paper dolls to homeless youth, which will be placed on the tiny house. “It is a way to build awareness, reduce stigma and create a community of support through art,” The paper dolls will form part of the display in NSW Parliament House in August.
  • Participant in the UNSEEN project, Lani shared her experiences being of homelessness in preparation for the activation of her performance in June of the play she is writing with the assistance of Kylie and Bradley from Midnight Feast.

Upcoming activation 14 – 18 June 2021 Circular Quay  UNSEEN Chrome Car (opp 33 Alfred Street Sydney)

The theme for June is Elder Abuse and homelessness. We are still looking for volunteers to support the June activation, so please take a look at the dates in the volunteer schedule to see if you or someone you know are able to assist us

Fiona Arnold is UNSEEN’s artist in residence with her project ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’ – “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 collectivity seen.  – Fiona. The installation Fiona creates will be displayed at Parliament House during August 2021.

The month of June will also see Sera, Roshee, Emily and Jane, working on their artworks.

Thank you so much,

Belinda Mason