Taboo suicide topic brought out into open through stART Talking

RAISING AWARENESS: Morpeth artist Kathie Bowtell with her portraits featured in stART Talking.

RAISING AWARENESS: Morpeth artist Kathie Bowtell with her portraits featured in stART Talking.

A MORPETH artist has raised more than $25,000 for Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter through a moving portraiture series on suicide.

Consisting of 10 portraits of people who took their lives, Kathie Bowtell's stART Talking series was exhibited at Lovett Gallery throughout April.

The series was aimed at generating conversation on the taboo topic of suicide in order to prevent its occurrence among the community.

Ms Bowtell volunteered her time and effort to complete the series, with all donations made during the exhibition going towards Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter.

The artist has reached her $25,000 target and donations continue to roll in.

Lifeline will use the money to subsidise the cost of training telephone counsellors for its crisis support hotline.

The organisation contributes $2000 towards every counselling course, which is valued at $3400.

Ms Bowtell said she was thrilled to have helped in such a practical way.

"The money this project raised and what it can do will literally save lives," she said.

Ms Bowtell said she planned to create another series in 2016.

She is also considering holding portraiture painting workshops in the coming months to nurture budding artists who could contribute to the next series.

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