Masks of Life

Artworks are first available for purchase in-person at the Recovered Futures Art Exhibition in Brisbane. Unsold artwork will be available for purchase online following the event.

Masks of Life

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Mixed media on board
60cm x 80cm
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Throughout most of life, VanDeen has struggled with mental health, learning to understand it and its affects. For the first 40 years, VanDeen was aware there were some issues, but didn't realise the issues were caused by mental health.

VanDeen now understands that the voices, which he says are now like his friends, are caused by PTSD. To deal with these things, VanDeen paints and writes down feelings, ideas and visions. This gives VanDeen a release from them, some enjoyment and helps to express feelings for which there are no words.

All of VanDeen's painted and written work come from within; the stirrings of memories, confused emotions and inner reflections. It's the reflections in the mind and its effect in life that has interested VanDeen the most.

VanDeen has found that some of images are distorted like in a circus mirror, some have become better than they were and some have become much worse - almost nightmarish. Unravelling and smoothing out these distorted images has become a great interest and helped significantly to deal with the effect of those reflections or memories.

"The Masks of Life are a part of my Reflections series. Most are familiar with the concept of wearing a mask in daily life to hide the true self or to magnify the true self. These masks can also be used to describe the struggle that life has become for many people.

I have created three pieces to represent life and its possible consequences, trying to represent these changes through the use of masks. Each piece is representative of a stage of the pressure and changes we may all face."