BIOGRAPHY/CV Mary van den Berk BSW (Hons), (Massey) PhD, (UNSW) M Art, (COFA, UNSW)
I am a Potts Point based artist. I was a social worker and researcher before I was an artist. The sum of my work and life experiences informs my art focus on depicting people, narrative and community. I aim to capture figuratively a brief moment in time – an “essence” of a person, moment and context. I also make a form of commemorative art called Tribute-Art which celebrates people’s lives and creates a permanent legacy. My current body of work focuses on Potts Point Propinquity – where I Live.
I have created a business in Tribute-Art helping individuals or members of groups to create collaborative mixed media works that celebrate a person, place or event. This combines my skills in art and social work. I teach part-time art classes for seniors at Coast Seniors Centre in Little Bay and provide volunteer assistance at CanTeen camps and have run both Tribute-Art and other art workshop at the annual “Good Grief” camp.
I was a part-time student of Master of Art in painting at COFA, UNSW graduating in 2010. Prior to this, in my late 30’s, I rekindled my love of art and took up art classes at Kuringai Arts Centre, Waverley Woollahra Art Centre, and National Art School. I was also involved in art volunteer work at “Lou’s Place”, a drop in centre for women in crisis, at Kings Cross and the Art Therapy programme at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. In 1993 I completed my PhD (after 8 years part-time with a deferral following the birth of each of my 3 children, an interstate move and 3 house renovations ). The PhD focused on the effectiveness of a Genetic Screening Programme for the Fragile X Syndrome.
I held numerous positions after graduating with a BSW (Hons) from Massey University in 1981, including a position as lecturer in the Department of Social Work at Monash University, the Genetic Co-ordinator Counsellor with the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, based at Monash Medical Centre and as the Genetic Social Worker/Counsellor, for the Fragile X Screening Programme based at the Prince of Wales Children’s Hospital, Randwick. In the early 1980’s an extended overseas trip found me working at Newham Social Services in the East end of London as well as residential relief work in various parts of the United Kingdom. I was born in Waipukurau, New Zealand, and the second of seven children. I have lived in Australia since 1985 with my husband and we have three grown children.
- 2018 Finalist Meroogal Women’s art prize, Sydney Living museums
- 2017 Group exhibition “Washing” Coast Seniors Centre, Little Bay
- 2016 Tutors Exhibition, Coast Seniors Centre, Little Bay
- 2015 “Tribute-Art & Clay Connections”, solo show Bellevue Gallery; Group exhibition “Refugees”,
- Newtown Mission
- 2014 Selected in Blacktown city Art prize 5 Dec to 10 Jan 2015
- 2014 Participating artist 2014 in A4 for A4 Art Gallery, Sydney 6-9 Nov
- 2014 Finalist in “Hidden –sculpture walk” Rookwood Cemetery
- 2014 participating artist Boundless Plains:creative conversations with asylum seekers at Annandale Creative Arts Centre
- 2014 International Women’s Day Art prize 2014
- 2013 Finalist in “Mosman IN-Situ 2013”
- 2013 Finalist in “Hidden –sculpture walk” Rookwood Cemetery
- 2013 Sydney Finalist in “Clifton’s Art prize”
- 2013 Finalist in “Chippendale New World Art Prize”
- 2012 “Conversations” exhibition at Kaleidoscope Gallery, Waterloo;
- 2012 “Plus One” Group exhibition at Art Est Gallery
- 2011 “Mashed Art” COFA group exhibition at Oxford Art Factory
- 2011 Solo exhibition: “Memories Revisited”, Yuga Gallery, Glebe
- 2010 Moorambilla Voices fundraiser; “Chooks” Mixed Media works
- 2010 “Made in Sydney”, group show at “The Wall”, World Bar, Kings Cross
- 2010 “Freedom Art Prize” group Exhibition at Tap Gallery, Sydney
- 2009 COFA Annual Art Show http://annual.cofa.unsw.edu.au/2009
- 2009 “Done and Dusted” – Post grad exhibition at COFA
- 2004, 2005 Waverly -Woollahra Art School Annual Art exhibition
- 2005 “Art Centre Painters”, Tap Gallery
Grants, selected publications and presentations
- 2011 ArtStart Grant, Australian Council for the Arts
- 2011 June Presentation on “A Trans-disciplinary approach to Memorial Art” at inaugural “Death Down Under” Conference, Sydney University
Turner, G Robinson, H Laing, S van den Berk, M Colley, A Goddard, A Sherman, S Partington, M 1992,’Population Screening for Fragile X’, The Lancet, May 16, vol. 339 pp. 1210-1213.
Fook, J Carew, R Ryan, M van den Berk, M 1991, ‘A new direction in Social Work Education: Teaching by Distance (The Monash Experience)’, Advances in Social Welfare Education, pp. 169-180.
van den Berk, M 1990 ‘An Introduction to Genetic Counselling” AASW, NSW Branch Newsletter, May (vol.2) pp.9-14.
van den Berk, M 1990 ‘Evaluation of BSW Courses provided internally and externally from Monash University Social Work Department” April – internal report for use of Social Work Department and Faculty.
van den Berk, M 1989, ‘Effective Genetic Counselling – discussing client questions and concerns’, poster for Australasian Human Genetics Society Conference, July, Alice Springs, NT.
van den Berk, M 1988, ‘Comprehending and coping with genetic Information’, poster for Australasian Human Genetics Society Conference, May, Brisbane, Queensland.
van den Berk, M 1987,‘Genetic Counselling and Social Work’, paper and presentation to Australian Association of Social Workers Bi-annual conference, September, Perth, WA.
Education and Employment History
2010 Master of Art (in Painting), UNSW, College of Fine Arts
1994 PhD, UNSW
Thesis: “Screening for the Fragile-X Syndrome: effectiveness, consequences
and a model for social work practice”.
1981 BSW (Hons) Massey University, New Zealand