Support for No Shame, No Silence, the exhibition about family violence and the family court’s response to it, is gaining support from around Horowhenua and the nation.
One local supporter is Horowhenua District Councillor and local business owner Victoria Kaye-Simmons, who has since brought in her daughter Kirby, who dragged along Oliver Parrant.
“This exhibition is unique,” Cr Kaye Simmons says.
“Artists contributed their own work to create awareness of domestic violence and our family court system.
“We need to ensure the correct implementation of family violence legislation is in our family court system.
“I’m here to help this exhibition build a bigger profile around the protection of our women and children and their right to thrive in a safe, happy and loving environment. Social issues and stigma around people living this nightmare need to be talked about more.
“Their stories need to be shared. We all need to play a part in helping others to understand.”
She says when Sarah Jayne Shine told her about the concept for the exhibition she was eager to help. “Horowhenua has the second highest stats for domestic violence in the country, so I offered my services to help lift the profile.”
Kirby Kaye Simmons and Oliver Parrant have been door knocking around the district’s business community for contributions to the auction which will be held in conjunction with the exhibition, the proceeds of which will go the the local women’s refuge.
They are putting together packs of goodies which will be auctioned off.
Each pack contains 12-15 donations and vary in value from $25 to $250 a pack.
“This exhibition is bringing people together who wouldn’t normally interact,” says Kirby, 18, who has become spokesperson for No Shame No Silence.
She became involved by driving her mum to committee meetings and was offered some tasks before becoming fully involved.
She found a sidekick in Oliver Parrant, 16, who runs his own photography business and is an aspiring artist.
The pair have been instrumental in getting a $9600 contribution towards the art installation from the Ministry of Youth Development.
The youth installation, inspired by Roald Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant story, consists of 100 jars decorated with children’s visions of either a dream or a nightmare of life with or without domestic violence. There will also be five large jars on plinths with a much bigger story. Oliver and artist Ariana Bell are taking care of those big jars.
Venus Andrews, Zac Andrews and Saxon Shine will do the remaining three jars. Oliver’s work is based around his painting and involves a broken jar being put together again as a symbol that what’s broken can be healed.
“The exhibition will be much bigger than expected and the calibre of the work submitted is amazing,” says Cr Kaye Simmons.