Art exhibition raises much needed funds for Switchboard Victoria

Bearing the Burden The Laird Hotel Switchboard VictoriaThe Bearing the Burden art exhibition held recently at Melbourne’s The Laird Hotel has raised more than $1100 for community organisation Switchboard Victoria.

Switchboard Victoria provides a free, confidential and anonymous telephone and web counselling, referral and information service for the Victorian and Tasmanian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities and their supporters.

Bearing the Burden featured work by artists Andrew Li, Chris Wong, Kenton Penley, Marco Ryan and Jimmy Twin who interpreted the title theme in their own unique way, bringing together artworks that featured painting, digital work, ink sketch and cartoon work.

Curator and event organiser Jimmy Twin was pleased with the outcome of the exhibition stating: “(we) all need to make a concerted effort to support organisations such as Switchboard Victoria that help to combat depression and suicide in the LGBTIQ community.”

“They provide an important link to those who need help and information to those who wish to become more involved in the community.  Bearing the Burden was a great success and I am still receiving feedback on how high quality the works were in this exhibition.”

Artist Chris Wong added to this, saying: “as a gay man in a country (Malaysia) where homosexuality is taboo, and back in the days where social media and support channels were almost non-existent, can be a lonely, isolating experience.”

“I see the importance of organisations like Switchboard Victoria can help young people who felt similarly trapped and find the support that I wish I could have had in the past.”

Plans are underway to hold Bearing the Burden again next year, with details regarding dates and a call for artists to be announced early in 2016. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Artwork of Chris Wong, Marco Ryan and Jimmy Twin (courtesy of the artists)