On Thursday 1 November, Lemonface Design's 'baby' No Shame No Silence launched in splendor at Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton, Horowhenua.
The exhibition aims to shine a light, cultivate conversation and create change around the issue of family violence and the response of the Family Court system to survivors of family violence.
Most of us are touched by family violence in our lives, through our own experiences, those of friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. While society are quick to put this issue into the 'too hard basket' or give it a quick sweep up the nearest rug, it is an issue we all must speak up about, have hard conversations with loved ones and call out abuse for what it is when we see it or hear about it.
After attending a march to parliament in August 2017 to deliver a petition to Parliament for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into our family Court System, nothing happened. In March 2018, Minister Little announced a Ministerial Review of the system. The Backbone Collective submitted reports to the United Nation based around what Family Court users (women and children who are also victims of family violence) had experienced in the system, the United Nations were horrified and recommended a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the system. Minister Little has ignored this recommendation. A new petition to uphold the United Nation's recommendation can be signed and will be delivered to Parliament this month.
No Shame No Silence is a visual response to that march and the following events. Lemonface Design has seven pieces of work displayed using a variety of mediums and coordinated the exhibition.
The exhibition hosts 24 artists from all over New Zealand who have used their creativity to showcase their experiences and/or perspective on family violence or the family court system using their chosen mediums. The space also includes a youth project that called upon Horowhenua's youth to produce 100 'dream/nightmare' bottles to suspend from the ceiling.
If you are in or around the Horowhenua district, pop in, be confronted and be part of the change that is coming.