Art For The Heart: Beauty From Loss & Pain
This year’s Art For The Heart exhibition had substance and richness that lifted the spirit with honest, beautiful and sometimes provocative creative works relating to love, loss and hope. Shaped by groups and individuals whose expressions of loss and grief were displayed in craft as well as painting, video, photography, poetry, drawing and sculpture.
With over 130 works of art, there was an extensive variety of responses to loss all boldly and publicly representing what is often the isolated experience of grief. Although many pieces were manifested from people’s tragedy, a warm, inviting community emerged to not only appreciate the art but relate to and revere the artists.
One artist, Michael Dillon, described the event as a place that encourages people to “…make a switch in their mind and move from a state of grief and loss to having a sense of admiration for their lost loved one...”
Many visitors were so moved by the experience that they were motivated to express their deep appreciation with words like:
“Beautiful and profound. Emotional.
I loved all the heartfelt work put into every piece.
A lovely exhibition, full of love and longing.
Love this venue. Brought me to tears again.”
Held at the Meat Market art space in North Melbourne, the journey had really only just begun for attendees who then made their way around the gallery, exploring the art and perhaps even stopping to make their own work at the 'Art Therapy table'. With its free materials it was a hive of activity and it was wonderful for people to be able to draw upon the experience of Svetlana Bykovec and other professional Art Therapists from Arts Cabriolet. Artists in residence Kristina Didelis and Jan Harrison also volunteered to be available throughout the eleven day exhibition.
Children seemed fascinated by the gallery pieces and were quickly drawn to both the art table and the highly talented Elder Clowns from the Humour Foundation. Their cheeky songs and hilarious dance routines had the audience in stiches, particularly my 3 year old Son who couldn’t contain his laughter and joy seeing clowns on stage. He even got up to the microphone to try his hand at singing his own songs.
If this wasn’t enough, while visitors were being inspired by the wonderful and thought provoking artwork, they were then treated to a delicious variety of catered food and beverage, perfectly prepared by Diamond Celebrations.
This remarkable event was organised by our Community Education Manager, Samantha Rennie, who discussed the meaning and purpose behind Art For The Heart and introduced Nicky Saville from the Uniting Vic.Tas charity, Wendy Goy from Tobin Brothers Funerals and the ever popular Elder Clowns.
Over $10,000 has been raised through the sale of many donated art works from all the Art For The Heart events.
The money raised this year went to Uniting Vic.Tas, who support the areas of aged care and disability, community services, chaplaincy, social justice and advocacy issues that impact the people they serve.
Of course none of this could be put together without the many artists bravely displaying their works and the many staff from Tobin Brothers Funerals who volunteered their time and assistance in making this event a success, in particular Helen Rose, Alan Gough, Nick Fogarty, Wendy Goy, Greg Waters, Laura Flowerday, Mim Stoermer, Ailish Lydon and the Memories and Tributes team.
I walked away with my family after the event feeling amazed at the human spirit and privileged to have witnessed so much beauty being created from loss and pain. This annual event makes me really proud to be a part of Tobin Brothers Funerals.
Written by Matt Weedon: Creative Communications Consultant, Tobin Brothers Funerals
Photography and video by Matt Weedon