Burnie from the 8th of February to the 17th of March

The Burnie Regional Art Gallery

77 Wilmot Street, Burnie

Mens Circles – Bookings Essential

Sunday 10th February starting at 1:00pm in the Bass and Flinders Room

Sunday 17th March starting at 1:00pm in the Bass and Flinders Room

Hear stories from the men

Tuesday 12th February 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Celebrating Men Their Images and Stories

“An event whose time has arrived, come and celebrate with us”

A unique “installation” of men telling their stories in person alongside their photographic portraits aims to break the many stereotypes of what it means to be a man today.

From being in intense relationships, or dealing with grief or guilt, a divorce, or affirming the joys in their lives, each very personal journey is shared with heartfelt honesty and integrity.

The men speak from their heart, hence the name of the event “Men with Heart.”

Men and women viewing both images and videos have been visibly touched by the work. Some people have been moved to tears.

There are 13 short video interviews by freelance videographer Troy Melville and over 40 men are portrayed in stills by award-winning photographer Paul Hoelen.

Paul has committed almost two decades of his life to documenting these men’s journeys at the Tasmanian Men’s Gatherings – an annual event held in a bush camp over the March long weekend. He is one of the men who will be sharing his journey as part of the “installation.”

What is it in these portraits that brings people to tears?  Paul says that the images capture the essence of men engaging with both themselves and other men on a much deeper and more intimate level. “There’s a certain quality of open-heartedness, courage, vulnerability and even love that shines through some of these moments. Collectively they have the power to touch and inspire others into recognising the great capacity for men to relate in this way.”

Supported by a $17,600 grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund, and printing sponsorship from Full Gamut and photographic paper sponsorship from Ilford, this “installation” celebrates 21 years of work by the community organisation Tasmanian Men’s Health and Wellbeing Association.

During the year many of the men also lead regular men’s groups. There will be opportunities during the exhibition for men to sit and experience some of the magic that can happen when people sit together, listen, and share their stories.

There is no script. At first, there is silence then a question asking each person, if they wish, to say in briefly how they are feeling. This is tough for many men who have sometimes spent their whole lives suppressing their emotions and feelings.

Each person is listened to in silence, without judgement, and no-one offers suggestions or ideas of what he might do differently in his life.

In “Men with Heart” you see ordinary men in all their ruggedness and individuality who have grown as human beings thanks to the combined wisdom and experience of men who facilitate each group.

By a show of hand or a spoken word, each person agrees that they will not divulge or share with anyone else what they hear. This is the “secret” of secret men’s business. It is part of building masculine trust in each other. It is what creates the safe area in which a man can start to heal his own wounds, heartaches, and worries and receive the support of other men. This may well be the first time a man has ever been properly “heard” by others and just listened to in a caring supportive way.

To be part of one of these circles, call 0423 353 752.