It’s Beautiful: Art For The Heart

By: Samantha Rennie - Community Education Manager, Tobin Brothers Funerals
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

“It’s beautiful, just really beautiful.”

 “It’s amazing that people can overcome the worst moments of their lives to do something for others.”

“It’s lovely…wonderful…phenomenal. What an incredible idea. I am so glad I came. There is not a piece I didn’t like or wasn’t moved by. Just amazing. Please keep it going, there is nothing else like it.”

 “It’s wonderful and very moving.”

“My Dad died 22 years ago and I have never had the chance to process it. I didn’t even realise until I came here what was locked up inside me. This has really helped. It’s so beautiful. Thank you.”

 “Thank you for making yourself known to me and taking the time to ask about my drawing. This has meant a lot to me. I’ve come away from the exhibition amazed at the manner in which people are helped to express their grief in art form. So, I thank you very much for the provision of art materials that helped me be creative about my father’s passing.”

Those were amongst the enthusiastic responses of people who visited this year’s Art for the HeartExhibition at the Yarra Gallery in Federation Square.

There was something deeply reverential and moving in the works and stories on display which have created a new bench mark in art exhibition. One visitor told me she had only once before been to an exhibition where she felt so inspired and moved to tears at the same time and that was at a Jewish Holocaust museum.

The combination of people’s tragedy combined with beautiful works of creativity both saddens and warms the heart at the same time. The works this year again showed the varied responses to loss and helped us gain a visual understanding of the often isolated experience of grief. We had works from people from different cultures, countries, socio-economic backgrounds and with different types of losses. Works exhibited were from both groups and individuals whose expressions of loss and grief were displayed in craft as well as painting, poetry, drawing and sculpture.

It is indeed a journey to come here. People also stop on the way around the gallery to make their own work. The Art Table with it’s free materials was a hive of activity and it was wonderful for people to be able to draw upon the experience of Emma Finch, a professional Art Therapist, who volunteered to be available throughout the 11 day exhibition. Emma was able to encourage people’s artistic expression and support their exploration of the theme love, loss and hope.

To see so much beauty created from loss and pain is inspiring enough and then for them to add to it the gift of giving to others through beyondblue, is a true testament to the human spirit. This annual event makes me really proud to be a part of Tobin Brothers Funerals.

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