Gasworks ARTS PARK, Albert Park
Opening International Sex Worker Rights Day
Sat 3 March 2-4pm, 2018.
An art exhibition by Victorian sex workers, sponsored by RhED which is part of Star Health which captures the complexity and nuance of working within current legislation and community stigma. This is an opportunity to challenge your own attitudes and view sex work through the perspective of the artists, the sex workers themselves. Community stigma impacts the law and in turn directly influences health, well-being and access to basic human rights.
Bring your friends and family to see art from the perspective of empowered artists , and reflect on the intricate mosaic of working in a role which can be as difficult/complicated and rewarding as any profession.
On Sunday 17th December, RhED staff, volunteers and clients marked International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers in O’Donnell Gardens, St Kilda. As part of this event, guests were invited to contribute to a Red Umbrella Sculpture, which had been started in the art workshops, and completed by the broader sex worker community who attended the event.
“This piece is the first thing that came to my mind when we got the project up and running. It’s how I see my job, like anyone else’s …….
I wanted to bring light and humour to this art project to make it accessible for people that may be new to the idea of sex work, or feel apprehensive about it.”
“Feeling the light and warmth of support to freely live in the life that I choose.”
“It is amazing to see everything fall into place and all of us working together and sharing ideas and experiences! It was magical and looking forward to see the outcome of this wonderful thing that has brought us together.”
…the countdown is on for the final exhibition.
The RhED art project has been focused on providing an opportunity for sex workers to share their voices through art to enhance the human and worker’s rights of sex workers.
The project forms part of the advocacy strategy to decriminalise sex work in Victoria.
The art project has provided 26 art workshops so far in various locations around Melbourne. There are currently 34 sex workers who have participated in art workshops, since it commenced in March 2016.
The people involved in the project are Tamara Desiatov, Community Art Facilitator; RhED Health Educator Kima O’Donnell is the project coordinator, and a range of current and former sex workers working in a variety of settings. A Public Art Exhibition is planned for the end of the project.
Victorian sex workers approached RhED in early 2016, with the concept of creating art, to raise awareness in the general community about stigma and discrimination that sex workers experience.
A RhED Health Educator and support worker first met with these sex workers on International sex worker rights day 2016, to start planning the art project with them.
The art project started as a pilot with x 4 art workshops planned. RhED with StarHealth launched the art project titled ‘Sex-work – it’s a real job” on International Sex Workers’ Day 2 June 2016.