We welcome requests to exhibit Silent Tears both nationally and internationally.  Tamworth Regional Gallery in NSW is inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from regional galleries to host the multimedia exhibition Silent Tears  as part of a Visions of Australia funding application. We envisage that the  Australian regional tour will run for three years from late 2018 to 2021. You will find the exhibition expression of interest form  in the ‘Communicate’ drop down menu titled “Host the Exhibition”

  • Friday 29 March 2019 – Sunday 26 May 2019 – Tamworth Regional Gallery, National component of Silent Tears
  • July 2017  – Venice Art Factory Galeria Zero, Italy
  • November – December 2016 – MAMA, Albury, NSW Australia
  • November 2016 – International Arts and Health Conference at the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney Australia
  • October 2016 –  Berlin Photography Biennale, Germany
  • September 2016 – National Arts Activated Conference, Sydney Australia
  • August 2016 –  Australian Medical Students Global Health Conference, Newcastle University Australia
  • April 2016 – United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Geneva, Switzerland
  • March 2016 – Centre For Social Innovation  in conjunction with United Nations Commision on the Status of  Women, New York USA
  • March 2016 – Jejer Wadon Conference, Surakarta Indonesia
  • March – April 2016   Sydney University Law Library, Australia
  • August – September 2015   Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Australia

Click image to see this collection.

Click image to see this collection.

Click image to see this collection.

Click image to see this collection.

Click image to see this collection.

Click image to see this collection.

Silent Tears is a multi-media exhibition by internationally renowned photographer Belinda Mason, and emerging artists Dieter Knierim, Margherita Coppolino and Denise Beckwith.

“Without stories, there is silence. Without our stories told, we are voiceless. Without our stories heard, we are invisible. It is even harder, when the stories are hard to hear and impossible to imagine.” – Belinda Mason 2015.

The Silent Tears exhibition reveals the lived experience of women with disability who are subjected to violence and women who acquired disability as a result of violence. There are twenty women in the project from six different countries and four continents and the project continues to grow. The participants collaborated as protagonists with the four artists, three of whom are emerging artists with disability, creating works based on the stories of women with disability who have been psychological, physical, emotional, economic, and cultural violence. The power the exhibition, lies in the hands of those who participate in it and have shared their stories which include; domestic violence, forced sterilisation, psychological trauma, female genital mutilation, neglect, sexual abuse within institutions or by family members.

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)

Narratives are an important part to commencing the healing and, are a major component of policies designed to improve 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 violence against women with disability.

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.

Funded by The Australia Council for the Arts and curated by Kon Gouriotis OAM, the exhibition 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, the exhibition will be displayed at the Sydney University Law Library. In April 2016, there will be a presentation about the work the UN Geneva. In October 2016, Silent Tears will feature at the Berlin Photography Biennale.

The exhibition comprises of 41 artworks, including 20 framed 20’ x 24’ documentary photographs, 20 transparent perspex images 100cm x 67cm and a video projection installation with 20 ipads. The scale of the exhibition allows curatorial tailoring for both the space and audience.

To support the women participating in the project, key figures in both the gender and disability sector have provided written and audio content to accompany the participant’s stories and experiences of multiple and intersecting forms of violence perpetrated against women and girls with disability. The innovation of an online app for people with disability, enables all viewers to have larger engagement with the participant’s stories. A media kit and education kit for public programs is available. A hard copy book is in development. Letters of support from stakeholders are also available along with media and audience responses.

The Artists Belinda Mason, Dieter Knierim Margherita Coppolino and Denise Beckwith 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).
  • 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


For further information please contact:

Belinda Mason



+ 61 (0) 414787788