From the Subiaco Post, by LLOYD GORMAN
Subiaco’s marketing arm, Visit Subiaco, was forced to remove an image from its social media site this week following complaints it was offensive to women.
The image of a woman with dog heads for breasts and the slogan Check Dem Puppies appeared as a tweet on the Visit Subiaco site, which is linked to a Facebook page and website.
The image is painted on the side wall of the Corner Gallery in Hay Street, on the corner of Olive Street, by artist Haylee Fieldes, known as Fieldey, who strongly defended her satirical street art.
When the female owners of three Subiaco fashion stores saw the image online they complained to the council. “[We] would like to bring to your attention, on Visit Subiaco’s webpage, an inappropriate image that has been re-tweeted by the Visit Subiaco staff,” the shop owners told the mayor and councillors in an email.
“We all find this image offensive and inappropriate and would like to know how this image helps portray the women who work and live in Subiaco. “Does this type of image portray Subiaco as a safe and family friendly area? “From a community aspect, how does this help the self esteem of women who might be seeing this image? “The image needs to be taken down and someone should be made accountable for using such an image to portray Subiaco.” A male councillor described the image as “absolutely offensive material” and it was taken offline on Tuesday.
One female shopkeeper said she was disgusted by the image. “My mother and my sister had breast cancer, this is a disgusting portrayal of women and totally inappropriate for the City to be promoting,” she said.
Fieldey, the 31-year-old female artist who painted it, said she was proud of her work and defended it. “The joy of social media is that you never know where your art might appear on the internet,” she said. “I love the fact that Visit Subiaco found this piece of street art interesting and engaging enough to want to share it to promote the city. “As a woman and a feminist, I painted this piece to satirise objectification of women. While it’s a pity people found this offensive, art by nature and in its purest form is always in the eye of the beholder.”
Acting Subiaco CEO Scott Hawkins said: “The original tweet about the image was automatically re-tweeted by Visit Subiaco’s website content management system. The image has since been removed.”