Creating a fabric of respect

Published 22 February 2018

Sexual harassment on campus is not just a blight for University management to solve.

An invitation for the whole UNE community to show commitment to building a culture that stands against sexual assault will be extended during O-Week 2018, when installation artist and UNE Curator of Cultural and Teaching Collections, Narelle Jarry, will be working to create Fabric of Respect.

You can seal your commitment by applying your fingerprint to a square of white fabric before creating a flower-like bloom with the cloth and adding it to a growing “wall of respect”.

“Your involvement signifies our moral obligation to each other and the community to be respectful, and in turn be treated with respect,” Narelle says.

“It is an active gesture, to literally make a mark that binds you to being part of the cultural shift.”

“Every one of us is responsible for the community that we are part of, and we cannot pretend that the issue of sexual harassment is the responsibility of others. Nor can we forget to look at our own behaviour and be prepared to change it.”

Narelle chose the medium of fabric because it is tactile and enduring, a human creation that helps define us as a species and as individuals, and a carrier of memories. 

“Fabric of Respect represents a power shift. Join us as we signal a goodbye to collective denial and make an agreement to change our behaviour, give and expect respect.”

All students and staff are invited to acknowledge a commitment to ending sexual harassment and assault by helping create Fabric of Respect along the wall of the Dixson Library,  in the Ingrid Moses Courtyard, from 10-2pm each day.

Donations of any white, off white, near white or cream fabric are very welcome. They can be dropped at the front desk of the Dixson Library.

If you are willing to spend a couple of hours over the five days to help people prepare and add their blooms to the artwork, or would like further information, please contact Narelle Jarry