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September 10, 2007 | by  | in Visual Arts | [ssba]

Women Only Day at Vincent’s Art Workshop

Public art space Vincent’s Art Workshop recently had an exhibition of works from their Women Only Day. Vincent’s Art Workshop was set up as a public art space as a result of government policies of deinstitutionalisation from psychiatric hospitals 19 years ago.

Originally it was targeted for people with disabilities, those moving into the community from institutions, the unemployed and people on low incomes.

Now in their new space on the fourth floor of Community House at 84 Willis Street, Vincent’s has gone from strength to strength to become a popular art space where anyone at all from the wider community is welcome to come in and express themselves artistically.

Vincent’s has one day a week on Thursdays that are open to women only as part of their Women Only Day. I popped in last Monday and chatted to Vincent’s Coordinator Glen McDonald about the exhibition and find out some more information about the Women Only Day.

First off I asked her how long they have had a Women Only Day and how it came about it.

“We’ve been having our Women Only Day at Vincent’s for years and years now. Initially the reasoning was that Vincent’s used to be a very male dominated organisation and environment and what we noticed was that some women, because of their own personal history, felt intimidated about being in a fairly male dominated space and might want to come, but just weren’t confident to stay. So that was the idea that came about of having a day just for women and what we found is that a lot of women felt more comfortable about being here on Women Only Day.”

She then went on to point out that the one day a week for women only has been so successful in its original aims that a lot of the women who have initially come along to Women Only Day have managed to make friends and integrate themselves into the other days.

“They gradually become trusting of this space in general and trust that the staff will make sure that they’re all okay and aren’t threatened in any way. So often women will just start coming on Women Only Day, but after a while they’ll feel alright about coming other days, so it’s often a sort of gentler entry into Vincent’s, whereas if there wasn’t Women Only Day they may not come in at all.”

This brings us to the recent exhibition that was held to celebrate the female artists at Vincent’s. With an average of up to 20 women turning up on the days, there was ample talent to showcase, as some of the photos here attest to.

If you are a creative woman then feel free to pop along to Vincent’s on a Thursday for a safe and creative space to express yourself. And men, you are welcome to come on all the other days, where a lot of friendly and creative people are there to help you express yourself creatively too.

Community House,
Level 4, 84 Willis Street


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