The 2019 edition of the sexy Manscapes calendar by Byron Bay-based artist John Bortolin has been launched as part of this year’s Mental Health Week.
The calendar blends regional Australian landscapes and male nude photography, and the project is closely linked to men’s wellbeing.
“The calendar is a tribute to some of my friends who have lost their lives to suicide,” he said.
“It makes me more determined to make a change for men who suffer with mental health issues, whether it be from raising awareness through my posts and sales of the calendars, to making these guys feel better about themselves from the images I take of them.
“I do love showing a guy what others see through a picture. A side they don’t see in themselves.
“Sometimes we all need a reminder of how fabulous we are.”
This week is Mental Health Week, and recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed suicide rates in Australia are at a 10-year high.
According to the data, suicide rate jumped 9 percent from 2866 deaths in 2016 to 3128 people last year. Each day in Australia, eight people will die by suicide, three quarters of them men.
In 2016, Bortolin mourned the loss of Manscapes model Rhys Nicholson to suicide.
“If I could make any difference to any of these young men, or the people who look at the book, then I would be honouring Rhys and all of those men who feel trapped, unsupported and unable to express themselves,” Bortolin said.
The artist is donating part of the profits of this year’s Manscapes calendar to the Queensland AIDS Council to allocate to men’s mental health causes.
“[QuAC’s] mission is to enable lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people to increase control over and improve their health,” he said.
For the last four years, Bortolin has also fundraised for QuAC with his annual “The Boys of Balls Out Bingo” calendar, which can be purchased here.
To see more of the Manscapes calendar and to order a copy, visit John Bortolin’s website here.
If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.