When Killarney artist Ricky Schembri was asked to interpret what it took to be a 'gentle man' into a painting, the image that came to him was of a long, winding road.
Using pastels and a blank piece of paper, Schembri recreated Schenfields Lane in Cobden for his take on the GentleMEN Live Art Exhibition on Saturday afternoon.
"When I thought about the theme of today I thought about a long road, and how to recover you have to stick to the road," he said.
"The event is a good idea, it's important to support men and women because men go through a bit in a relationship too."
From the team who brought Women of Warrnambool to the city last year, the event aimed to raise awareness and open conversations around family and domestic violence by focusing on positive masculinity and what it means to be a 'gentle man'.
Held at the Archie Graham Centre, 11 local artists had two hours to create an artwork in front of an audience with the theme of Gentle Men - positive male role models - while observers took part in a silent auction with a portion of proceeds going to Warrnambool's Emma House.
Artist and Warrnambool East Primary School youth mentor James Chapman said the school-led event was part of their approach to state-wide initiative Respectful Relationships.
"The artists have been given the theme to interpret any way they like, focusing their art on what makes a great male role model," he explained.
"It's part of our approach to raising awareness about gender equality and family violence.
"It's very unique in the way that the artist creates a piece that people can place a bid on while it's in progress."
He said last years event inspired them to recreate the theme again this year, only this time focusing on men.
"We're mindful of doing that in the right way by acknowledging that the statistics of violence show that it is predominantly towards women, but there are also lots of men doing the right thing," Chapman said.
"We're doing that by celebrating those aspects rather than the man themselves and the ways in which they are positive role models."
Other artists included Jimmi Buscombe, Gypsy Spelling, Oriel Glennen, Ktlyn Galati, Richard Pritchard, Rose Missen, Glenn Morgan, Zorran Lucas and Yasmin Nagorcka.
The project was a collaborative effort between Warrnambool East Primary School, Women's Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West and Warrnambool City Council.
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