Adelaide artist and gallery director, Mark Lobert, 47, who has battled lung disease over the last 18-months says that art is his breath of fresh air. Lobert, however, is one of many. According to the Lung Foundation Australia, some 7 million Australians over 35 are at risk of lung diseases, including lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Art for Lobert is a lifesaver. It has helped him cope with lung disease as well as diabetes over the last ten years. It has also provided him with purpose and balance, igniting his creative spirit and inspiring him to share the life-saving properties of art with others.
When it comes to health issues, Lobert is not alone. Lung disease and diabetes are among the significant diseases impacting Australians. Lung Foundation Australia estimates that nearly one in seven Australians over 40 has COPD. While 4 percent, or 898,000 Australians have diabetes. A rise of 1.5 percent since 1989.
However, despite the debilitating nature of such illnesses, Lobert shows no signs of slowing down. From art workshops for corporate and team dynamics to lessons for the disabled to entrepreneurial success, he has added layers of colour and expression to his life.
Lung Disease is Debilitating But Art Makes it Bearable
Lobert, South Australian award-winning artist, has experimented with colour and technique all of his life.
“I started to paint as a creative way to express myself, and it grew from there,” said Lobert. “My art is who I am,” he said. “Some works are simple, bright and bold. Others are complex, intricate and layered. I am all those things often at the same time.”
And, it is art that may have been his haven during those times when his illnesses led to feeling overwhelmed or hopeless.
“The lung disease can be so debilitating that just walking and doing everyday activities can make it hard for me to breathe,” said Lobert. “On those really tough days, I pushed myself to paint a few strokes,” he said. “I would become so absorbed in that work that eight hours later not only would I have created a new art piece, but I also exercised my mind and body.”
Art Fuels Lobert’s Passion to Create
It is this sense of achievement which pushes Lobert, even when his body is resistant. This drive is also fuelling Lobert’s entrepreneurial spirit to create a business and to help others. Lobert sells his art as well as hires it out so clients can enjoy art in their home or office in a way that fits their budget.
“Typically I hire to corporate clients to enhance their offices and buildings and to those selling their homes to help engage buyers during the sale process,” said Lobert. “I work with each client to establish the best and most suitable art and financial arrangement for them,” he said. “Hire can be short or long term and from as little as $50 a month.”
Lobert also focuses on bringing art to others. He does this by way of hosting exhibitions and displaying art work from a range of artists. This says Lobert encourages others to find themselves through art as he did.
Art Generates a Physical, Mental and Emotional Well-being
Lobert has been running art workshops for two years as a way to build team dynamics, encourage creativity and to have fun working together. His own life-saving experiences with art have encouraged him to make it accessible to others who can benefit from its answer to physical, mental and emotional issues to stimulate well-being.
“I initially conducted art classes for people living with a disability,” said Lobert. “They enjoyed the sessions and felt positive after finishing their own original art,” he said. “This inspired me to start the art workshops so more people could experience these same positive feelings.”
“I found that individuals who had never met before were building rapport during the three-hour class,” said Lobert. “That’s when I decided to apply that to workshops for organisations that wanted to grow their team dynamics.”
For more information about Lobert artworks and exhibits at the Mark Lobert Gallery, paintings for sale or lay-by, or to participation in art workshops, please visit http://www.marklobertgallery.com.au.
The Mark Lobert Gallery is located in Adelaide at Port Adelaide precinct, 111a Lipson Street, South Australia.