We welcome requests to exhibit Silent Tears both nationally and internationally.  Plans for an Australian tour of the exhibition are underway along with ongoing outreach to key international venues whose focus is human rights and the arts. Please contact us HERE

Expressions of Interest (EOI) from regional galleries to host the multimedia exhibition Silent Tears  as part of a Visions of Australia funding application are invited. The fee for Australian venues is $3,000 ex GST and includes freight and insurance to and from the venue. We envisage that the  Australian regional tour will run for three years from 2018 to 2021. Please email photography@belindamason.com to participate. International venues can will need to consider freight and travel costs for artists and participants. We are developing partnerships to assist such funding requirements.

Silent Tears fall at the moment when we feel the most alone and the most lost, it is also a turning point, to look for hope and strength. The intent of the work is create hope unity and strength for women with disability who have experienced violence. The complexities of the issues surrounding women with disability and violence cannot be resolved until the reasons surrounding the violence are heard, and this can only be told by those who experience it. The power of this exhibition, lies in the hands of those who participate in it, women with disabilities who been subjected to violence and women who have acquired their disability caused by violence.


The Silent Tears exhibition covers 40 – 50 lineal metres depending on curatorial method and includes:

  • 20 laser prints Duro Clear 100 x 67cm images on clear perspex
  • suspension system – if required system
  • 20 framed 50 x 61cm black and white documentary images
  • a video installation with 20 ipads (can be presented as an single loop projection)
  • online app for people with sensory, cognitive and learning impairments
  • artwork hard and soft copy of text panels for each artwork
  • catalogue, including essays by artists participants and key figures
  • media kit, including press release, 6 images, fact sheet, artist bios and project outline
  • graphic design templates for invitations and posters
  • education kit or forum discussion outline

In support of Silent Tears, the following key figures in both the gender and disability sector have provided content to accompany the participant’s stories which details the multiple and intersecting forms of violence perpetrated against women and girls with disability.

  • Rosie Batty, 2015 Australian of the Year, Luke Batty Foundation
  • Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner, Australian HR Commission
  • Michaela Cash, Minister for Women Australian Federal Government
  • Natasha Stott Despoja, UN Ambassador for Women and Girls
  • Matthew Bowden, Co-CEO of People with Disability Australia
  • Carolyn Frohmader, CEO of Women with Disability Australia
  • Dr Elizabeth Anne Riley, Academic Specialist in Gender Identity, Ethics and Sexuality.
  • Susan Salthouse, Member of the COAG Advisory Panel to reduce violence against women.
  • Morgan Carpenter, Co-Chair of national intersex organisation Oll Australia
  • Ross Coulthart, Walkley Award winning investigative journalist and 60 Minutes reporter.
  • Dr Jan Hammill, Centre for Clinical Research Queensland University
  • Dr Di Winkler, CEO of the Summer Foundation
  • Bruce Esplin, AM
  • Marie-Rose Paterson, Registered Psychologist
  • Graeme Innes AM
  • Cate McGregor AM
  • Kate Swaffer,  Chair, CEO, Co-founder Dementia Alliance International
  • Tara Moss, Author, human rights advocate and anti-cyberbullying campaigner

Letters of support from the following organisations are available:

  • Our Watch, Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • CBM International, NGO
  • Women With Disabilities Australia
  • People with Disability Australia
  • First Peoples Disability Network Australia
  • Family Planning NSW

Silent Tears exhibition engages with communities or audiences such as:

  • Indigenous women
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse women
  • Women with disability
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer people with disability
  • Youth
  • Aged

Funded by The Australia Council for the Arts and curated by Kon Gouriotis OAM, Silent Tears was launched at the 2015 Ballarat International Foto Festival by Sue Salthouse of the Australian Prime Minister’s Advisory Panel to Reduce Violence Against Women. In March 2016, with the support of CBM International, The Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Silent Tears  co-hosted a parallel event with the Australian Government, as part of the 60th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, USA . In April 2016, artists Mason and Beckwith presented with CBM International at the UN Geneva to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the formation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability about the intersections of violence against women and disability. In April 2016, the exhibition was displayed at the Sydney University Law Library and accompanied by Sydney Ideas discussion panel. In October 2016, Silent Tears will feature at the Berlin Photography Biennale. From November 2016 – Jan 2017, the exhibition will be shown at MAMA, Australia. In March 2018, the international component is scheduled for display at the Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, in conjunction with the United Nations 62nd Commission on the Status of Women and International Women’s Day. Belinda and Denise have also spoken at the 2016 Australian Medical Students Global Health Conference, 2016 National Arts Activated Conference, International Arts and Health Conference at the Art Gallery of NSW, Australia and the Jejer Wadon Conference Solo, Indonesia.

Narratives are an important part to commencing the healing and, are a major component of policies designed to increase the prevention of violence against women and girls with disability. Silent Tears provides a platform to share the women’s narratives to empower and strengthen, to validate their experiences by enabling them to reach out to the wider community in order to shift perceptions and raise awareness of the issue of violence against women with disability.

  • Silent Tears is representative of violence against women globally and ensures that the lived experiences and voices of women with disability who experience violence are included in conversations relating to violence perpetrated against all women. In doing so, Silent Tears adheres to the United Nations (UN) definition of violence against women, as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life (UN, Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 1993, p.1)
  • A critical component of Silent Tears is the alignment with Australia’s priorities for women’s empowerment and gender equality through the goals of The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022, which is the Government’s framework for Australia’s commitment to upholding the human rights of Australian women.
  • Violence against women with disability is an emerging topic within conversations around gender based violence, and is reflected in the 25 November 2015 Parliament of Australia’s Senate Committee report on Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings and also the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Artists Belinda Mason, Dieter Knierim, Denise Beckwith and Margherita Coppolino have collectively demonstrated the ability to deliver relevant, high quality, focused events for both national and international audiences with the following projects:

  • Unfinished Business, 2013 – 2017, is an exhibition that reveals the stories of Indigenous Australian people with disability. In September 2013, the exhibition was launched at the Palais des Nations in Geneva by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director General of the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva, and Peter Woolcott, Australia’s Ambassador to the UN, Geneva, to coincide with the 24th Session of the Committee on the Rights for People with Disabilities a body within the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. In December 2013 the exhibition was also displayed at the World Health Organisation Headquarters in Geneva. In 2014 it was part of the Australian Government’s official contribution to the 2014 UN World Conference on Indigenous Persons, New York. This project was funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). It is currently touring Australia.
  • Outing Disability, 2014 – 2016, project reveals the multiple discriminations experienced by Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people with disability. Funded by Family Planning NSW, this project is currently on national tour and has been presented at the Sydney Mardi Gras (2014), International Day of People with Disability Celebrations (2015) and in MidSumma Festival (2016).
  • Intimate Encounters, 2001 – 2014, was an exhibition that explored the diversity of people living with disability experiences. The exhibition toured to 32 metropolitan and regional city venues throughout Australia and nine international cities including Auckland, Barcelona, London, New York and Toronto. This project was funded by Australian State and Federal Government organisations including Accessible Arts NSW and Visions of Australia.

Exhibition Prospectus
Please click to view.