This is an unconventional portrait of a woman named Catherine. Catherine is a sex worker, and thanks to decriminalisation of sex work in Aotearoa she is able to work safely to support her family. Catherine knows that if an employer attempted to exploit her, she would be protected by employment law, and if a client harmed her in any way, she could call the police and seek justice without fear of prosecution due to her chosen career.
In 2003 Aotearoa became the first country in the world to decriminalise sex work. It remains one of only two places in the world with partial decriminalisation of sex work (alongside Australia’s New South Wales which decriminalised sex work in 1995), a model which is endorsed by the United Nations, Amnesty International, and the World Health Organisation.
The rights of sex workers are now protected by occupational and human rights legislation, and a sex worker who experiences violence in the workplace can now call the police without fear, and seek justice through the same avenue as any other person. Sex workers can still experience stigma associated with their employment from members of society, so many still choose to maintain anonymity like Catherine, choosing not to connect their faces to their work. This social stigma is slowly diminishing with time, thanks to decriminalisation reminding us that sex work is just a job, and sex workers are just normal people raising families, paying bills, and buying groceries just like the rest of us.
My thanks to Catherine for baring her beautiful buttocks in the name of art.
This is a print of an original acrylic-on-plywood painting.
Exhibited at Percy Thomson Gallery (Stratford, NZ) during "I Am Woman", 14th Dec 2018 - 27 Jan 2019.
I am a 30 year old artist working out of a home studio in Taranaki, New Zealand. I live with my husband, our friend J, eight cats, and six chickens. Social Justice Paladin, owner of too much lipstick, player of too much Heroes of the Storm, former body piercer with the gold jewellery addiction to prove it, powerlifter.
I work in a range of different styles and media, but the bulk of my work is in modern freestyle embroidery and watercolour painting. Other media I work with regularly include acrylic painting, spinning and weaving, and lino cut printing. I ...
This is a gallery-quality giclée art print on 100% cotton rag archival paper, printed with archival inks. Each art print is listed by sheet size and features a minimum one-inch border.