UNSEEN – by Belinda Mason

Dear Residents, 

As part of the Walsh Bay Sculpture Exhibition, which is taking place from May to August 2021, a new and exciting art installation “UNSEEN” by Belinda Mason will be the highlight.
 
“UNSEEN” is a collaborative arts project which shares the hidden experiences of women and homelessness. 
 
During one week of each month between March and December 2021, the “UNSEEN” Tiny House and “UNSEEN” Car art installation is positioned and then moved to a variety of locations across the Sydney CBD to engage the public in the topic of women’s housing insecurity and homelessness.
 
Walsh Bay has been included as one of the locations. The installation will be in the forecourt in front of Shore 8/9. The schedule for this installation is as follows:

  • Walsh Bay - 28 May 2021 – 13 June 2021
  • Opera House - 13 June 2021 – 20 June 2021
  • Walsh Bay - 20 June 2021 – 4 July 2021
  • Martin Place - 4 July 2021 – 12 July 2021
  • Walsh Bay - 12 July 2021 – 30 August 2021

 
The “UNSEEN” art installation is sponsored by the City of Sydney and other organisations, below is further information from Belinda Mason about the installation.
 
We thank you for your participation in this important program.

 



UNSEEN – by Belinda Mason
 
A collaborative arts project which shares the hidden experiences of women and homelessness. 
 
During one week of each month between March and December 2021, the UNSEEN Tiny House and UNSEEN Car art installation positioned in a variety of locations across the Sydney CBD to act as the central hub for public engagement in the topic of women’s housing insecurity and homelessness.
 
The unseen car, with its mirror surface, reveals the hidden nature of women’s homelessness and how some women experiencing homelessness live in their car. Pictured on the windows of the car are life size images of women who have experienced homelessness. They all appear as everyday women sitting in a car. On the pavement are removal non slip decals which have quotes from the women. As the months progress the baby blue UNSEEN House becomes invisible as it is slowly wrapped in chrome, inside and out. The mirrored surface highlights the lack of social and affordable housing for women. The mirrored interior creates an infinitely of reflections of the women who are pictured suspended life size inside the tiny house. The doors, window trims and veranda of the tiny house are covered in luminescence paint. 
 
UNSEEN offers women who have, or are experiencing homelessness, to engage with artists and advocates to generate greater public awareness of the impact homelessness has had or is having on their lives. By sharing their stories, the women provide a first-hand insight into the diversity of who finds themselves homeless and why. The purpose of UNSEEN is to ensure the voices of women who have or are experiencing homelessness are included in conversations about which can inform and improve social policy.

 
Organisations can participate in the UNSEEN project in one or more of the following ways as:
 
Donors:
Financial support is sought to assist in the costs associated with the tiny house and unseen car and costs enabling the women, who have or are experiencing homelessness, to engage in the project (catering, travel and participation fees). The Women’s Electoral Lobby has established a portal to facilitate tax-deductible donations for UNSEEN Project and for the Women Ageing Well campaign.
 
Supporters:
Organisations are asked to reach out, connect and support women who have, or are experiencing homelessness to engage with the artists of Blur Project in a safe and unquestioning environment. The women decide how and where they want to engage as well as how much of their identity and they wish to reveal. The tiny house and unseen car will be used to display the art works and first-person stories created from this collaborative process. The project is seeking participation from women who have, or are experiencing homelessness who identify as having disability, being older, youth, CALD, First Nations and LGBTQIA+. The diversity of their lived experiences connected to homelessness can be inclusive of but not limited to; poverty and discrimination, domestic, family and sexual violence, precarious visas, the gender pay gap, the justice system, Forgotten Australians, COVID-19, natural disasters, child sexual abuse, cultural and racial abuse, elder abuse, the Stolen Generation, the intersectionality of these issues and access to services.
 
Collaborators:
Organisations which have arts-based programs are invited to use the tiny house and unseen car to showcase the painting, poetry, song, dance, craft and performance produced by women who have or are experiencing homelessness.
 
A Note from Belinda 
 
I wish to thank all those who made this project possible: 
  • The participants of the UNSEEN project, Noor, Nadeena, Fiona, Emily, Lani, Amy, Teora, Jai, Michelle and Susan
  • City of Sydney for their support of the project
  • Women’s Electoral Lobby for the many volunteers who gave their time to answer question from the public about women's homelessness. 
  • Soroptimist for the many volunteers who gave their time to answer question from the public about women's homelessness. 
  • Auto Skin sponsorship of production of the UNSEEN Car art installation
  • AccessMySuper for their financial support of the UNSEEN Car
  • Code Green for their financial support and design of the UNSEEN Tiny House
  • Primary Communications for securing amazing mainstream coverage of the events
  • Artist Profile and Art Almanac magazine for their articles and social media support
  • Bonnie Support Services for supporting Noor to participate
  • Homelessness NSW for supporting Lani, Teora and Nadeena to participate
  • Homelessness in Focus for supporting Michelle and Jai to participate
  • Women’s Housing NSW for supporting Amy, Fiona, Susan and Emily to participate 
  • Share the Dignity for providing the wonderful gift bags for all the women who participated
  • DV West, Haymarket Foundation, DV NSW, Namaste and Older Womens Network for sharing information about the project
  • Simpsons Lawyers for supporting the project
  • Martin Vosatka for his graphic design talents
  • Spark Homes for building the UNSEEN Tiny House
  • AWS for supplying all the windows for the UNSEEN Tiny House
  • ARTPark Australia for inclusion in the Walsh Bay Sculpture Exhibition 2021
  • Managemeant of Walsh Bay Precinct for acceptance and enthusiasm of ‘Unseen’
  • Vivid - Festival of Light For inclusion in the forthcoming program Aug 6-28