Yesterday I had the rather lovely task of coordinating a little brooch making workshop alongside Plan International Australia and the Three O’Clock Collective. It was one of many little events run alongside the gallery’s current exhibition A Girl’s Place.
The exhibition is the culmination of Plan Australia’s recently conducted survey into the sense of safety for young women in public places (read more below) and 10 female artist’s interpretation of girl’s taking ownership of urban space and create more welcoming cities.
The workshop was aimed at celebrating where we feel safest and to create mementos that could be worn as amulets of protection. Our little crafters (and their gorgeous mamas) had a fabulous crafternoon sesh with beads and felt and glitter glue up to our elbows!
There is something inherently lovely about participating in a craft circle // it is a practice as old as the hills and as such feels like you are tapping in to an ancient flow of tradition. Group crafting and sewing circles are definitely seen as a female past time but there is a strength and unity found in sharing and making together that simply can’t be found elsewhere. From my time spent at Three O’Clock Gallery I can see that this is exactly the type of strong community atmosphere Kim De Kretser is hoping to build and it was an absolute pleasure to be a leading part in creating that yesterday.
Because I am a Girl Exhibition Statement:
Worryingly, almost one third of Australian girls aged 15-19 agree “girls should not be out in public places after dark.”
In early 2016, Plan International Australia and OurWatch surveyed 600 Australian girls about personal safety in public spaces. Responses suggested a significant percentage of girls report feeling unsafe in public places, especially after dark. These findings are not just Australia specific – the result is similar to findings of surveys of girls conducted by Plan International around the world.
Although research tells us girls are generally less safe in their own homes than in public places, they are continuously told by adults, the media and police that public spaces, particularly after dark are not safe for them. These warnings mean that girls often choose not to access public spaces such as parks, public transport and parts of the city. Ultimately this means that girls feel less connected to their cities, feel less ownership over public spaces, and feel that they do not have the same rights as their male peers. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Through this exhibition we want to investigate the question, what would it look like if girls could design safe, welcoming cities?