Fieldcote unveils Enduring Women:Veils of Secrecy

News Oct 09, 2009 Ancaster News

Images, words and sounds weave a searing, heart-wrenching tapestry at Fieldcote’s new exhibit.

Abstract sketches illustrate human frailty grappling with physical and emotional abuse.

Words and images are hidden behind a thin, semi-opaque veil, forcing viewers to look beyond the surface. In the background, victims recount their stories, but the tone is muffled and the words are unrecognizable.

Enduring Women: Veils of Secrecy is an interactive exhibit created by artists Gerald Pedros and Sylvia Curtis-Norcross with an additional audio component by Kevin Curtis-Norcross.

The exhibit encourages guests to touch the artwork and write a comment on a large white sheet. Originally staged at the St. Thomas/Elgin Public Art Centre, Enduring Women debuted last month at Fieldcote.

It’s perhaps the boldest exhibit the museum has ever hosted in its 21-year history. Enduring Women is winning praise from police and social service agencies for spurring a conversation around domestic violence.

“We want to thank Fieldcote Museum and their boldness for taking on this exhibit,” said Lenore Lukasik-Foss, director of the Sexual Assault Centre, Hamilton and Area (SACHA).

“From a policy point of view, we need the veil of silence to be lifted,” added Hamilton’s deputy police chief, Ken Leendertse.

Co-creator Ms. Curtis-Norcross said the project idea was born during a breakfast conversation and a quick perusal of a local newspaper. After reading an article about a woman who had been beaten to death by her partner, exhibit cocreator Gerald Pedros continued eating his cereal, to his wife’s surprise.

Ms. Curtis-Norcross said the exhibit’s goal is to foster a dialogue.

“If you know the statistics, everyone in here knows someone who has been through this situation,” she told a gathering at the Sept. 30 grand opening.

Hamilton’s Woman Abuse Working Group estimates one in four women will experience violence by a partner and one in three will experience a sexual assault.

“We need to talk about it,” said Medora Uppal, chair of the WWAG action standing committee. “Lift the veil of secrecy.”

Mr. Pedros researched the exhibit with some help from his daughter’s theatre group.

He asked the group of female performers, if they found themselves walking alone on a dark street with a man on one side and a vicious-looking dog on the other, which side would they choose. Every student chose to walk alongside the dog.

“That tells me a lot that the situation is really that bad,” said Mr. Pedros.

Debra Seabrook, former curator of the St. Thomas/Elgin Public Art Centre, recommended the exhibit to Fieldcote curator Lois Corey.

Ms. Seabrook said the exhibit sparks a conversation about a seldom discussed topic.

Ian Kerr-Wilson, city manager of museums and heritage preservation, hopes the new exhibit will be thought-provoking.

“We’re asking visitors to really confront something,” he said. “We never set out deliberately to shock or offend, but through this exhibit we intend to start a dialogue.”

One of the exhibit’s most powerful statements comes from one of Ms. Curtis-Norcross’ longtime friends.

“I’ve been very lucky,” the statement begins. “You spend your whole life looking for mothers when yours can’t love you because she’s being beaten.”

“This woman was a volunteer for 10 years where I worked,” explained Ms. Curtis-Norcross. “This really captures the exhibition because she’s been able to heal.”

Enduring Women: Veils of Secrecy continues at Fieldcote, 64 Sulphur Springs Rd., until Jan. 31., 2010. The museum is open Wednesdays to Fridays and Sundays from 1-5 p. m. Regular admission rates apply.

Fieldcote unveils Enduring Women:Veils of Secrecy

News Oct 09, 2009 Ancaster News

Images, words and sounds weave a searing, heart-wrenching tapestry at Fieldcote’s new exhibit.

Abstract sketches illustrate human frailty grappling with physical and emotional abuse.

Words and images are hidden behind a thin, semi-opaque veil, forcing viewers to look beyond the surface. In the background, victims recount their stories, but the tone is muffled and the words are unrecognizable.

Enduring Women: Veils of Secrecy is an interactive exhibit created by artists Gerald Pedros and Sylvia Curtis-Norcross with an additional audio component by Kevin Curtis-Norcross.

The exhibit encourages guests to touch the artwork and write a comment on a large white sheet. Originally staged at the St. Thomas/Elgin Public Art Centre, Enduring Women debuted last month at Fieldcote.

It’s perhaps the boldest exhibit the museum has ever hosted in its 21-year history. Enduring Women is winning praise from police and social service agencies for spurring a conversation around domestic violence.

“We want to thank Fieldcote Museum and their boldness for taking on this exhibit,” said Lenore Lukasik-Foss, director of the Sexual Assault Centre, Hamilton and Area (SACHA).

“From a policy point of view, we need the veil of silence to be lifted,” added Hamilton’s deputy police chief, Ken Leendertse.

Co-creator Ms. Curtis-Norcross said the project idea was born during a breakfast conversation and a quick perusal of a local newspaper. After reading an article about a woman who had been beaten to death by her partner, exhibit cocreator Gerald Pedros continued eating his cereal, to his wife’s surprise.

Ms. Curtis-Norcross said the exhibit’s goal is to foster a dialogue.

“If you know the statistics, everyone in here knows someone who has been through this situation,” she told a gathering at the Sept. 30 grand opening.

Hamilton’s Woman Abuse Working Group estimates one in four women will experience violence by a partner and one in three will experience a sexual assault.

“We need to talk about it,” said Medora Uppal, chair of the WWAG action standing committee. “Lift the veil of secrecy.”

Mr. Pedros researched the exhibit with some help from his daughter’s theatre group.

He asked the group of female performers, if they found themselves walking alone on a dark street with a man on one side and a vicious-looking dog on the other, which side would they choose. Every student chose to walk alongside the dog.

“That tells me a lot that the situation is really that bad,” said Mr. Pedros.

Debra Seabrook, former curator of the St. Thomas/Elgin Public Art Centre, recommended the exhibit to Fieldcote curator Lois Corey.

Ms. Seabrook said the exhibit sparks a conversation about a seldom discussed topic.

Ian Kerr-Wilson, city manager of museums and heritage preservation, hopes the new exhibit will be thought-provoking.

“We’re asking visitors to really confront something,” he said. “We never set out deliberately to shock or offend, but through this exhibit we intend to start a dialogue.”

One of the exhibit’s most powerful statements comes from one of Ms. Curtis-Norcross’ longtime friends.

“I’ve been very lucky,” the statement begins. “You spend your whole life looking for mothers when yours can’t love you because she’s being beaten.”

“This woman was a volunteer for 10 years where I worked,” explained Ms. Curtis-Norcross. “This really captures the exhibition because she’s been able to heal.”

Enduring Women: Veils of Secrecy continues at Fieldcote, 64 Sulphur Springs Rd., until Jan. 31., 2010. The museum is open Wednesdays to Fridays and Sundays from 1-5 p. m. Regular admission rates apply.

Fieldcote unveils Enduring Women:Veils of Secrecy

News Oct 09, 2009 Ancaster News

Images, words and sounds weave a searing, heart-wrenching tapestry at Fieldcote’s new exhibit.

Abstract sketches illustrate human frailty grappling with physical and emotional abuse.

Words and images are hidden behind a thin, semi-opaque veil, forcing viewers to look beyond the surface. In the background, victims recount their stories, but the tone is muffled and the words are unrecognizable.

Enduring Women: Veils of Secrecy is an interactive exhibit created by artists Gerald Pedros and Sylvia Curtis-Norcross with an additional audio component by Kevin Curtis-Norcross.

The exhibit encourages guests to touch the artwork and write a comment on a large white sheet. Originally staged at the St. Thomas/Elgin Public Art Centre, Enduring Women debuted last month at Fieldcote.

It’s perhaps the boldest exhibit the museum has ever hosted in its 21-year history. Enduring Women is winning praise from police and social service agencies for spurring a conversation around domestic violence.

“We want to thank Fieldcote Museum and their boldness for taking on this exhibit,” said Lenore Lukasik-Foss, director of the Sexual Assault Centre, Hamilton and Area (SACHA).

“From a policy point of view, we need the veil of silence to be lifted,” added Hamilton’s deputy police chief, Ken Leendertse.

Co-creator Ms. Curtis-Norcross said the project idea was born during a breakfast conversation and a quick perusal of a local newspaper. After reading an article about a woman who had been beaten to death by her partner, exhibit cocreator Gerald Pedros continued eating his cereal, to his wife’s surprise.

Ms. Curtis-Norcross said the exhibit’s goal is to foster a dialogue.

“If you know the statistics, everyone in here knows someone who has been through this situation,” she told a gathering at the Sept. 30 grand opening.

Hamilton’s Woman Abuse Working Group estimates one in four women will experience violence by a partner and one in three will experience a sexual assault.

“We need to talk about it,” said Medora Uppal, chair of the WWAG action standing committee. “Lift the veil of secrecy.”

Mr. Pedros researched the exhibit with some help from his daughter’s theatre group.

He asked the group of female performers, if they found themselves walking alone on a dark street with a man on one side and a vicious-looking dog on the other, which side would they choose. Every student chose to walk alongside the dog.

“That tells me a lot that the situation is really that bad,” said Mr. Pedros.

Debra Seabrook, former curator of the St. Thomas/Elgin Public Art Centre, recommended the exhibit to Fieldcote curator Lois Corey.

Ms. Seabrook said the exhibit sparks a conversation about a seldom discussed topic.

Ian Kerr-Wilson, city manager of museums and heritage preservation, hopes the new exhibit will be thought-provoking.

“We’re asking visitors to really confront something,” he said. “We never set out deliberately to shock or offend, but through this exhibit we intend to start a dialogue.”

One of the exhibit’s most powerful statements comes from one of Ms. Curtis-Norcross’ longtime friends.

“I’ve been very lucky,” the statement begins. “You spend your whole life looking for mothers when yours can’t love you because she’s being beaten.”

“This woman was a volunteer for 10 years where I worked,” explained Ms. Curtis-Norcross. “This really captures the exhibition because she’s been able to heal.”

Enduring Women: Veils of Secrecy continues at Fieldcote, 64 Sulphur Springs Rd., until Jan. 31., 2010. The museum is open Wednesdays to Fridays and Sundays from 1-5 p. m. Regular admission rates apply.