Mary van den Berk
Mary van den Berk was a social worker and researcher (BSW (Hons) Massey NZ, PhD UNSW) before she became an artist. Mary graduated with a Master of Art (COFA, UNSW) in 2010.
Mary has worked with many community groups over the years running art classes and working collaboratively to make larger art works or installations, including with a daytime women’s refuge, Sydney Children’s Hospital, CanTeen, and for the past 3 years weekly art classes at Coast Seniors Centre. She has been a finalist in a number of art prizes including Sydney Living museums (Meroogal), Blacktown, Chippendale New World, Mosman In-Situ and Rookwood-Cemetery Hidden sculpture/art prizes and has exhibited with fellow artists from other disciplines.
The sum of her work and life experiences informs her art focus on depicting people, narrative and community. Mary aims to capture figuratively a brief moment in time – an “essence” of a person, moment and context. She also makes a form of commemorative art called Tribute-Art which celebrates people’s lives and creates a permanent legacy.
Mary’s current body of work focuses on “Postcode 2011 Propinquity – Where I Live”. Works are based on photographs used to create a drawing which is then translated into a mono print and painted into with acrylic or oil. Embroidery is also incorporated into the final layer of the artwork.
Mary encourages students to express themselves, developing their own artistic style by exploring numerous materials and referencing traditional and contemporary artists.