Peter Daverington, The raft of the clan, 2017–18. oil on canvas. 260 x 396 cm. Collection of Robert House © Peter Daverington


CONTENT WARNING: exhibition contains material that deals with child abuse, sexual abuse and th Royal Comission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Out of the darkness: A survivor’s journey is an exhibition of works collected, commissioned and curated by Robert House, a survivor of child sexual abuse. The memories of House’s childhood experiences have continued to haunt him and affect his mental wellbeing, but he has employed determination and resilience to become an advocate for survivors, and work towards a more just society.

House has developed a passion for art, becoming convinced of its ability to represent the complexity of the trauma and other emotions experienced by survivors. He has commissioned, collected and created art, building a unique collection of works that reveal the journey of our society as it comes to terms with this shocking history. His collection reflects his personal journey, carrying the message that the voices of survivors should be heard and responded to with compassion and understanding.

The exhibition tackles the issues of the trauma experienced by survivors of child sexual abuse and the need for compassion and support within the community for people dealing with the consequences. It shows how art can be used both as a way of processing trauma and as a form of protest against injustice.

Out of the darkness includes works by Peter Daverington, John Forrest, Doug Heslop, Kaff-eine, Scott Marsh, James Money, Sassy Park, Michael Peck, Glen Pierce, Rodney Pople and Marcus Wills.

Ballarat is recognised as one of the main communities in Australia where institutional child abuse took place and the city has continued to feel its impact. The Art Gallery of Ballarat is part of Continuous Voices, a coalition of individuals and organisations which is actively working to find ways to help survivors navigate out of the darkness and to help the community to heal. Find out more about Continuous Voices here.

Image: Peter Daverington, The raft of the clan, 2017–18 (detail). oil on canvas. 260 x 396 cm. Collection of Robert House. © Peter Daverington


1 May–1 August 2021
Open 10 am–5 pm daily


Please come back to see the public programs which will be presented in association with this exhibition.

Selected works

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