Thankyou and welcome to my first solo art exhibition. It is an honour to have visitors and share this with you.
It is my hope that you will be touched by something here and that you will interact with the art in a way that is healing for you. Vulnerability is very powerful and character building. Let it heal you. If you feel you need to work through anything further please take advantage of the expressive writing workshop 'Greiving Your Way' with Karen Mace or call LifeLine on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4326.
This exhibition is part therapy, part outreach as I explored and expressed complex emotions after my wonderful husband, Andrew tragically died in a road accident in 2016. I was 11.5 weeks pregnant with our third child at the time.
I've used images, materials, tools and objects dear to us to journey through my grief of what was lost and how to embrace this changed life with hope.
In 2015 I gave up my 20-year career as a graphic designer to focus on a better life balance at our evolving family farm in Underwood, Northern Tasmania with my dedicated husband and sons (then aged 4 and 6). With the hope to grow our young family (the eldest child with ADHD and Autism) Andrew spent countless hours outside of his day job preparing the property for a productive agricultural lifestyle for our children. After two miscarriages we finally became pregnant again before Christmas but decided to delay the announcement in case of another disappointment.
Travelling to our church’s first gathering of the year, Andrew came off his motorbike into an oncoming vehicle on Lilydale road just minutes from our home and his destination. In the skilful hands of the Launceston General Hospital staff and cocooned with many loving friends, I waited, trusting God with our family’s future. On the 16th hour of surgery and numerous bags of blood they could do no more and I received the call to come in and farewell my husband.
It is this tragedy though that has awoken me into my renewed purpose – to help and show others the hope that Andrew had and the help that I have to continue on.
After relocating and rebuilding a now urban life, the most calm and healthy birth of our third son six months later proved the permanence of this peace.
But while the light of this hope gave clarity I was well aware, for practical reasons, that I was avoiding tackling the hurt, anger, pain and grief - the negative that comes with loss and tragedy.
I serendipitously met Karen Mace, Counsellor and Grief Therapist, at her home whilst buying second hand doors from her and her husband Ross. They shared their own tragic story of losing two of their three daughters which opened metaphorical doors for a beautiful relationship.
Combining art making with one of Karen’s online writing workshops (Your Brain on Paper), I have amazingly found pockets of time and vision, conceiving and creating the collection of works.
I hope to travel with my three sons to other parts of Australia including where Andrew spent parts of his life. If you know community groups or places who would benefit from hearing a little of my story, experiencing parts of this exhibition, attend art or writing workshops and watch some performance art and please contact me.
It is my hope to encourage people to feel safe to open even more doors and respond to their own grief through reflection, art or writing.
Confronting the Negative - Artworks by Melissa Lubke
The Poatina Tree Art Gallery, Poatina, Tasmania.
Opening 5th August 2-4pm until 9 September 2018
Grieving Your Way - Expressive Writing Workshop with Karen Mace
Healing Place - 12 Eiger Court Grindelwald
Thursday September 13th, 9.30-2.00pm
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Melissa Lubke on the contact form below or Karen Mace on 0418 378 123.