It's only been a couple of months since I've crossed paths with Lin van Hek, artist and woman extraordinaire. Since then I've been obsessed with her art and the lady herself. Art is very personal; it just so happens the subject matter of her paintings speak the same language as my love for portraiture. As for Lin, the more I find out about her, the more I am inspired and filled with admiration. Needless to say, I am now the proud owner of 4 Lin van Hek paintings. Being invited to her exhibition was beyond my expectations, and I gobbled up that opportunity with great delight.
Lin has a Facebook Page, and a website, but she enjoys the silence of painting more and is not always active on either. To see her latest works and to follow the conversations, checking her out on Facebook would be the better choice. As far as I can see, the website only holds around 6 paintings that are current, but don't quote me on that.
Her FB page is more a personal page than a business page, hence I do believe she's like a hidden gem, a local attraction that's not always obvious, making it all the more exciting when discovered. The contact link on her website does however take you to an email option (email@example.com) to get in touch with Lin should you wish to make an appointment to view her paintings.
The art exhibition on Friday 7 October 2016 at 7pm at her studio gallery Poet House in Thornbury was well prepared by this dynamo of a creative. I'm sure she won't mind me saying (as she tells people about it quite openly) that this lady now in her 70s, will put anyone 20 years younger to shame with her seemingly boundless energy.
You can't miss Poet House as you drive to it at 736 High street in Thornbury. Lin's huge paintings on the walls either side of the entry looms large on the street front. The studio gallery is a huge space with high ceilings, lush wide panelled timber floors, with the walls in every room draped with beautiful paintings. There was so much to take in, one had to keep walking through the rooms again and again to give them their due, to contemplate and view them all.
The ambient rooms were created from well placed art, the addition of fresh flowers, lit candles, good lighting and a flair for placement of objects, furniture, furnishings and so on. No surprise, Lin is after all, creative and artistic. Parts of the floor space have not escaped the stroke of Lin's brushes and are adorned with painted branches and leaves. Cut out and painted angels floated above some of the artwork, themselves a work of art and for sale.
Who doesn't love a good spread of food at an exhibition that also celebrated Lin and her partner Joe's combined birthdays. There were a couple of huge tables of delicious delights prepared for us by their (Joe & Lin) own hands, and I can vouch for Joe's amazingly wholesome and scrumptious cheesecake, made from scratch, as were the dips, made by Lin. A warm and personal night of art, welcome speeches, birthday stories and celebrations were had by all.
Who is Lin van Hek? How are her paintings hugely popular when the art studio doesn't stay open or operate regular hours. There is no business Facebook page to speak of and the website is not updated on a regular basis so as to compete in our world of technology today. Yet patrons go directly to her and I do suspect if they're anything like me, you can't help but be enamoured by this creative who is warm and passionate about life, and want to own a piece of her. Like many of us, you may follow her like a faithful pup.
I suggest you google her name and read all you can about this amazing woman, and be in awe of all that she's done. You'll also find quite a bit on You Tube about Lin that may surprise you.
An artist, singer, song writer, author, poet, short filmmaker and a performer, she co-wrote and sang the song 'Intimacy' for the film 'The Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger no less. It was executive produced and co-written by Joe (Dolce), Lin's partner of around 36 years, who also played lead guitar on the track. With the Terminator added to the National Film Registry, our Lin and Joe's creative talents will live on forever.
You'll also find many other music collaborations and music videos of Lin on You Tube. Personally, her voice resonates with me. I love it, but maybe I'm just a little bit in awe, biased and in love with this little lady. For those who don't know Joe Dolce, he's a professional musician, composer, poet and an entertainer for over 35 years and well known in his own right. I suggest you discover him on the world wide web yourselves.
Born in Melbourne and living in Europe and India for some years, Lin has packed a whole lot of living into her life. The Hanging Girl, The Ballad of Siddy Church, Katherine Mansfield's Black Paper Fan including short story collections (The Slain Lamb Stories & Anna's Box, to name a couple) authored by Lin; working for over two decades with a group of women in North Vietnam, designing, manufacturing and trading in ethical, non-exploitative hand-embroidered silk garments and textiles; building a house by hand; being involved in the touring show 'Difficult Women' by using her acting, narrating and singing skills along with the musical and arranging talents of multi-instrumentalist Joe; one could go on about Lin and Joe's many achievements.
They truly are a power couple to uphold as inspirational and representative of Australian talent. I've attached some pictures (click through on Flickr album below) from the night of the exhibition (carefully leaving out as best I can, the people attending this invite only event) so you can get a birds eye view of what I admire about this lady and her achievements as she continues to power on. Unstoppable, she continues to create and leave a huge footprint of a life passionately lived thus far.
Dear Ms van Hek, I was introduced to your work by Kath Tait, 3 of whose songs you covered. I am most impressed by your visual art. I would be interested in doing an article about you for my online magazine 'Poetry Express Newsletter'. I attach one of my artworksMy email is firstname.lastname@example.org - David Russell