Gary Silipa

Not To Speak Is To Speak

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The idea for this exhibition is inspired by the photo taken by Misery during the BRADLEY LANE mural project in Glen Innes, Auckland in November 2014.

The name of the show is based on the quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, renowned opponent of the Nazi regime: "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

My aim is to present original artworks drawing attention to social issues currently facing our communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. They have been identified both through media and personal accounts, with a particular focus on issues affecting our youth, such as poverty and substance use.

I've chosen to focus on matters affecting our youth because a lot of the time they are the helpless victims of their social upbringing and environment. I want to tell their stories and raise awareness of their situation.

This show looks to confront social issues, leaving the viewer to question their own responsibility and to be challenged by the impact of silence.


My name is Gary Silipa and I have been living as an artist since 2011, having left fulltime employment to pursue this dream. I know firsthand how hard it is just to get by let alone have any money to make art with.

BOOSTED provides the opportunity for me to make the art that I envisage for this show; the art that I hope can bring about positive change.

Your donations will be used to make the art for this show. It will also contribute to 20% of all sales from work sold being donated to Brothers In Arms Charitable Trust, a youth mentoring organisation in Auckland which aims to build resilience in young people at-risk.


  • Extra! Extra! Read all about it!


    Thanks to Manukau Courier for printing an article in todays paper about the upcoming show and this BOOSTED project.

    Project closes tomorrow @ midnight and I'm really hoping we can reach the target and make some art!

    Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
  • Questions..


    2 days left and I've been trying to think why people aren't donating?

    How do you make people feel like they care enough to donate their money? Write sob stories that pull at your heart strings? Annoy them by consistantly flooding social media begging for donations?

    The comments from donors makes me smile.

    "With you!"
    "Looking forward to seeing the show.."
    "All the best"
    "Great project.."
    "Looking forward to seeing your work, so am happy to donate."

    It's always great to know you have support but for all those who have helped (through donations or other), how many others don't seem to care?

    Is it the project? Is it me? Is it financial situations?

    Whatever happens, the show must and will go on. See you at Fresh Gallery Otara between 20 March and 2 May to see how this show turns out.

    All are welcome :)


  • A Mountain All Can Climb


    Assessment of our children in NZ showing a few key indicators taken from 'A Mountain All Can Climb': 2015 state of the nation report from the Salvation Army.


    A: Excellent progress
    B: Encouraging progress
    C: Limited or modest progress
    D: No progress or going backwards
    F: Failing

    Follow the link to the full report:

    A Mountain All Can Climb


    After 1 day we're almost 1/4 of the way there! Thank you sooo much for all the kind donations so far. Whether we get there or not it's extremely humbling to know there are people who support this show :)


    I got the ok for a show at Fresh Gallery Otara at the end of October. I had a general idea about making art to do with national issues, something similar to what I had done in Japan earlier that year - nuclear disaster, WWII, whaling; the range was pretty broad.

    Nicole from Fresh started hitting me up early December about the finer details of the show and then it hit me. I had seen the photo on Instagram of the young boy in the bin during the BRADLEY LANE event held in November, and I remember thinking how crazy it was to see something like that. The next weekend I was volunteering at the annual BROTHERS IN ARMS camp for youth at-risk and I got to hang out with kids directly impacted by social issues. What I wanted to do was more specific than national issues in general. I wanted to make art that drew attention to social issues affecting our youth here in Aotearoa with the hope of making a positive difference!

    I have to give credit to my girl for coming up with the name for the show. I told her my idea for the show and suggestion for a name, which she said was lame and I knew it was. She had been reading something about Dietrich Bonhoeffer the previous day then suggested calling it 'Not To Speak Is To Speak'. It means that seeing some sort of injustice but choosing to do nothing about it means you agree with it. By not speaking out you’ve actually spoken and said, "I don’t care".

    It's funny how things fall into place.

  • Budget


    Without giving too much away, I've included the budget from my proposal for where the money from this project will be spent. It isn't a comprehensive list and any extra cash above what is listed will pay for what I've missed.  

  • Here we go...


    $2000 in under two weeks!

    Thanks to everyone that's involved in helping make this show happen - Auckland Council (Olivia & Nicole), BOOSTED and any donors :)

    This show will consist of a mixture of art works where this project is asking for help with the costs of making the sculptural/installation work.

    I'm working with a very tight timeframe hence the short project time and it's a MASSIVE challenge but one that's not impossible with your help.

    Here's a link to the Brothers In Arms website where money from any sales will be donated to. I'm not a mentor yet but have volunteered at a few events and seen firsthand the positive impact they are having with our youth -