AN overwhelming public response to Ballarat clergy sexual abuse survivor Peter Blenkiron’s photography exhibition has seen it extended until the end of the month.
Mr Blenkiron unveiled his exhibition Putting The Pieces of Self Together One Moment at a Time at Vox Populi Art Gallery, upstairs at Boah Organic at the Bridge Mall last month.
Each photo is a glimpse into the inner world of a child abuse survivor learning to re-inhabit his body and mind. With the guidance of his counsellor and from behind the lens of his smartphone he started taking photographs as form on mindfulness and solace.
The exhibition was scheduled to close last week but due its popularity it will be showcased for three more weeks. To date, hundreds of people have viewed the exhibition.
Many have been moved to tears by the photographs. Mr Blenkiron said he’d been overwhelmed by the response.
“This is just my journey and my hope is that it speaks to different people in different ways,” he said. “While there are dark photographs there are interlaced with with ones full of hope.
“I hope it is able to show people what some survivors go through and for survivors who may be viewing the exhibition, I hope it helps to normalise their own struggles and show them you can come out the other end.”
Mr Blenkiron’s childhood friend Vanessa Beetham is the curator of the exhibition.
At the heart of the exhibition is the duo’s pursuit to stop the suicides and premature deaths linked to sexual abuse and mental health issues.
More than $7500 was raised on the opening night alone and thousands of dollars more have been raised through sales of Mr Blenkiron’s photographs.
A raffle of one of Mr Blenkiron’s photographs is being run throughout the exhibition to raise money for suicide prevention.
Tickets cost $50 each.
All proceeds of the event will go to the Ballarat’s Survivors of Suicide.
The exhibition will be at the upstairs gallery at Boah Organics, 100 Bridge Mall, Ballarat until the end of November.
The gallery is open every Monday from 9.30am until 3pm, Tuesday to Friday from 9.30am until 5.30pm and Saturdays from 10am until 2pm.
Entry is free. To contact the Centre Against Sexual Assualt call 5320 3933 or free call 24 hours 1800 806 292. Lifeline: 13 11 14