Skip to content
December 1, 2011 / mummaVegas

Disarming…RedLight DarkRoom @Brisbane Powerhouse

Currently at 40weeks pregnant, there aren’t many remaining occasions where I’m thankful my child is staying put.  But…I suppose it is a crux of motherhood to want to shield your child from “discomforts” in the world. Yesterday was such an occasion. I dragged my big 39wk/6day belly over to New Farm eager to view the latest installation of works at the Powerhouse – Gemma-Rose Turnbull’s offering as artist in residence with the St Kilda Gatehouse entitled Red Light Dark Room – Sex, Lies and Stereotypes, a collection of work that should be applauded at the same time as one might recoil in discomfort at what is presented before them.

I am grateful for Turnbull’s work. Being from the safe-class set, complete with sound up-bringing, rock solid husband and steady income, I have from time to time poked at the ideals that are contained within the matter of the Red Light Dark Room subject but I never really understand what such women – street workers – actually put themselves through for the sake of survival. Walking through the collection, which Turnbull put together by supplying each street-walker with a camera and asking them to capture imagery that spoke of their life, I registered a broad spectrum of emotional response to what was presented.

Yep, for the most part, it was ugly. Track marks, decay, exploitation and neglect.

But as I rounded the corner to complete my viewing, I paid attention to the resounding sense of hope that Turnbull’s work evoked in me at the end. Her subjects succeeded in providing we “mainstreamers” with a deeper sense of the real heartache, disappointment and tragedy that they face in their day to day existence. A world I could never have imagined had it not been for the exhibition. When faced with, day in – day out, so much ugliness, some of these women still presented humour in their photographic choices – a portrait photo of a worker taken by a client inside his truck cabin on the way to the job; a holidaying prostitute standing alone, but just as much of a tourist as everyone else, delighted on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House; a hand-decorated birthday cake. Real things. Happy things. A bright side.

  

And daughters. Photos of little girls, born into the chaos and destruction of life as a prostitute, but so visibly loved and palpably happy – I felt a sense of pride that no matter what the circumstances, a mother’s love is resplendent among a multitude of life situations and trials. A gross understatement in the case of these women who raise these children as best they can. I know my child is the luckier of the two children. And not yet born. But it is clear that, regardless, these children are loved and cherished. Am I being naive?

As uncomfortable a fact as it is that people are forced by circumstance to live through hells such as those depicted within Turnbull’s collection, I cannot ignore my resolve to congratulate her for presenting this world most unknown and allowing me the opportunity to really acknowledge the existence of human hope.

I had no intention of making my first real BrisVegas post so – well – full on. But, I encourage you to visit the Powerhouse before 18 December to view this courageous collection. Brisbane Powerhouse is again to be thanked for curating such an exhibition – free to “good home”.

http://www.brisbanepowerhouse.org/events/view/red-light-dark-room-sex-lives-and-stereotypes/

…Next post will cover something lighter. I’ll have a child in tow.

mummaVegas x

Advertisements

4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. roksa / Dec 30 2011 2:05 pm

    What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & help other users like its aided me. Great job.

  2. Tuan Scheuermann / Jan 2 2012 4:46 pm

    You could definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  3. puerto princesa resorts / Jan 4 2012 6:05 am

    Hotels puerto Princesa puerto princesa hotels

  4. 靴 通販 レディース / Sep 18 2013 1:50 am

    ミネトンカ モカシン

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: