The Kintsugi Women
Model Kim Greaves
Make Up Artist Helena Trifunovic
The Kintsugi Women was never intended to be a deep piece of artwork. Originally envisaged as a photography project celebrating the women who inspire me on a daily basis, the project quickly developed into a meaningful exploration of their lives and the hidden issues they face.
Initially focusing on a theme of celebration of women empowerment, as the project developed these women slowly began to open up and tell me small things about their lives. As these shared experiences became more personal, I was surprised to discover how many of these women were survivors of unthinkable acts. These same women then put me in touch with their friends who also recounted stories of abuse.
Listening to these, it hit home how well we can know a person, without actually knowing them at all. It amazed me how their scars had been masked by their inspiration, kindness and willingness to still reach out after all they’d been through.
It was around this time that I came across the art of Kintsugi – the repairing of crockery with gold. These gold-infused items become revered and sought after because of their beauty; their history forming a part of their future. Again, I could see that people could see the beauty of the crockery but would never get to hear the story behind how it first broke.
Hence the model you see painted in clay represents six of these women. During the exhibition six black envelopes lie to the side of these framed photographs. The stories of these women who opened up to me lie within these sealed envelopes, unthinkable and remaining silent. The quotes on the outside of these envelopes mask the life experiences within them; striving to inspire like the women who have formed the subject of this exhibition.
Over 200 people came to the art rooms over the weekend and viewed the exhibition and it touched a lot of hearts. more than one woman claiming that if any abuser stepped in the room they would find the eyes of the model in the photograph looking straight through them wherever they stood. A number of people commenting that by having the stories sealed in the envelopes silent left them feeling as though the women were actually in the room with them