Artists highlight the heightening issue of homelessness among women

Artists bring home the plight of older Australian women amid the housing crisis.

The museum and gallery sector has had a terse relationship with vagrancy and homelessness. It would seem that industry proprietors are more likely to hose a homeless person off their steps than pay homage to them through an exhibition.

The Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), however, regularly displays Evicted (1887) by Blandford Fletcher. It depicts a mother and daughter, paltry possessions in tow, exiting their former residence with deprecating looks from remaining residents. Former curator of International Art at QAGOMA, David Burnett, says that although social realism ‘fell out of favour’ after the Victorian Era, this painting has significant currency in light of the housing crisis that has befallen Australian society, and some groups in particular. A 2020 study by the Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) showed that 405,000 women over the age of 45, in particular, were shown to be at risk of homelessness.

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Pamela See (Xue Mei-Ling) is a Brisbane-based an artist and writer. During her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Griffith University, she researched post-digital applications for traditional Chinese papercutting. Since 1997, she has exhibited across Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. The collections to house examples of her artwork include: the Huaxia Papercutting Museum in Changsha, the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra and the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) in Adelaide. She has also contributed to variety of publications such as: the Information, Medium and Society Journal of Publishing, M/C Journal, Art Education Australia, 716 Craft and Design and Garland Magazine.