What I Offer


What i offer to you -Mary Van Den Berk Artist at work

Artist – Mary van den Berk


My art-work takes two forms:

  1. I work as an artist in the traditional sense of creating a body of work.
  2. I also work as an artist with professional qualifications in social work creating or helping others to create Tribute-Art.


What I offer to you -Mary working on wooden tombstones for Hidden sculpture walk

Mary at work

1. Body of Work

I am a painter of transience and memory.  I aim to capture visually an essence or a moment in time, a memory which interprets a person, an event or a place. I am fascinated by a fleeting moment which, when revisited, allows for a discovery of greater depth and meaning.

My current body of work focuses on where I live – postcode 2011 propinquity. My works are based on phone photographs used to create a drawing which is then translated into a mono print which is painted into with acrylic or oil. I also incorporate embroidery into the final layer of the artwork.portfolio: body of work

Earlier works were based on old family photographs, which are both familiar and hauntingly transient. I worked digitally to create images which start with an old photograph but are then re-contextualised to create new meaning incorporating  new backgrounds which include fabric and texture. The final layer is hand drawn creating a unique multi layered work of art.  If you are interested in purchasing one of my art works in my gallery: body of work please contact me.

If you are interested in purchasing one of my art works in my body of work gallery or in comissioning an art work please contact me at mary@tribute-art.com.au

Or I can create a more traditional portrait or landscape painting if desired.

2. Tribute-Art: Milestones, Memories, Transitions

I am interested in the depth of human emotion and in celebrating people and events. It is part of being human to mark milestones, memories and transitions physically and symbolically.

What I offer in Tribute-Art is to create a unique and beautiful memento that commemorates the life and times of a loved family member, friend, pet or place. Every person, pet and place has a story to be told.

I use information gathered in consultation with you to create a personal hand-painted portrait of your treasured family member friend or pet. You also receive a short life-story book with photos of your family member, friend, pet or place, written in collaboration with a professional writer. You can choose to use the portrait or a photo of your choosing on the cover.

Confronting death and grief can remind us to live and live well. Knowing that we are destined to die can motivate us to focus more on our everyday lives. “The way to value life, the way to feel compassion for others, the way to love anything with greatest depth is to be aware that these experiences are destined to be lost” (Yalom 2008, p.147). In fact the profound experiences of love and loss can affirm beauty and the joy of living portfolio: tribute-art. My training and experience as a social worker helps you revisit and reframe your loss in a creative way.

My aim is to help people celebrate in art parts of their lives which hold deep personal meaning and love. See also “Wrapping Up” celebrating a life. WrappingUp.com is a social network and a one-stop-site about the one experience all of us will go through. Whether you find yourself responsible for wrapping the life of someone who’s died, interested in planning for events after your own death or helping someone in their last years, you’re likely to find the information you need here.

In addition, what I offer is to either help people individually, or in groups, to create a work of art using personal objects, photographs and memorabilia. I can  facilitate other people’s art-making helping to create artworks from “life stuff”. This maybe as simple as creating art  from mementos and other possessions – a work which reminds one of a celebration such as a wedding, christening, Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah, graduation or significant birthday.  I have experience working with community groups including with residents in aged care facilities, women in crisis, and children and adolescents (CanTeen).

Tribute-Art Options

please see package inclusions for Tribute-Art and Military Tribute-Art costings


I will send you a questionnaire to complete before we meet, which will help you to think about the sorts of things you might  want included in your art work. These things will be unique and of personal significance to you. For some people the focus maybe on handicrafts or hobbies, while for others, sporting paraphernalia or significant places, plants and of course people will be central.

Photographs , fabrics, written documents and literature can be digitally copied and embedded for incorporation into your art work, for example, the tapestry, jewellery and war medal in “Evelyn-Mama” below (110×75 cm).

Eve mixed media Tribute artwork

Eve mixed media Tribute artwork

George - mixed media Tribute-art work

George – mixed media Tribute-art work

I would then meet with you to devise the most appropriate form of art work based on those elements selected for inclusion.  This collaborative process would continue by phone, email and in person until the appropriate artwork is produced.