Sisters Doing It For Themselves

A short documentary film exploring the journey and significance of the iconic Smith Street mural, Bonbonniere to Barbed Wire, produced by Megan Evans and Eve Glenn in tribute to the women of the Yarra community.

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This film recounts the journey of the iconic Smith Street Mural Bomboniere to Barbed Wire, produced by artists Megan Evans and Eve Glenn in 1986. The mural was recently defaced by a vandal known as ‘NOST’. This act of vandalism was not taken lightly by the community. The powerful significance that the mural held within the Northcote community is clear from the response in pursuit of fresh life for the public art. In 1986, the Yarra district of Melbourne was a very different place, and during this time the mural sparked its own form of controversy and debate. This documentary will explore the process of the mural’s original creation, and what it represented and meant to the original artists and the women it depicted. This film uncovers the multifaceted aspects of feminism, art and politics that embeds Bonbonniere to Barbed Wire within the Northcote community as a staple of historical Melbourne street art.

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Director’s Statement
Through this film we strive to explore the passion and “mad energy” that is needed to create daring, audacious large-scale artworks that sit within the public domain. First encapsulated in Megan and Eve’s original endeavour, and then reflected through the destructive entity that is ‘NOST’, Sisters Doing It For Themselves attempts to pinpoint the obsession that drives artists to dedicate huge portions of their lives to their work. A fundamental aspect to the tone of the documentary, however, was taking care to avoid giving further recognition to the act of vandalism or its perpetrator. We have attempted instead to highlight the atrocity of the act as a reckless form of destruction instead of a legitimate artistic expression. By contrasting the commendable endeavour of the original artists with the mindlessness of ‘NOST’s vandalism, our hope is to create a tangible tribute to Megan Evans, Eve Glenn, and their relationship to the mural. We wish to utilise the act of vandalism as a way to reignite the discussion surrounding the mural’s place in society and acknowledge its lasting contribution to the local and wider community.

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Jacqueline Haynes – Director
Jacqui Haynes is studying full-time at RMIT, currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication). She has a passion for exploring the intricacies of Melbourne’s many niche subcultures and is drawn to anything and everything having to do with rural music festivals (‘bush doofs’), psychedelics, and aerosol art: three relatively dissimilar concepts that turn out to complement each other very well. She hopes that through making this documentary, she can create a tangible tribute from a feminist perspective to a piece of historical Melbourne street art that will always hold great personal significance to her.

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Maddison Viney – Director
Maddison Viney is a second year student studying Professional Communications at RMIT, majoring in Media. Her interests lie within a multitude of creative endeavors that she finds great satisfaction in pursuing. Of such passions, photography has been a field of interest since 2013. Her love of documenting all the minuscule yet fundamental elements of life into a tangible form continues to be a driving force for her to explore film and documentary genres. She hopes that through this documentary she will encapsulate the spirit of the women, artists and community that created an iconic essence of feminism in Melbourne’s street art.