Debra Maertens

found metal and knotless netting sculpture
19 x 12 x 8 in.

One of the best things that can happen to me, is making a personal connection with another person. As an artist, I make art to connect with myself. I exhibit my art, to connect with others. I hope to make this connection in multiple ways. By being vulnerable; sharing sometimes very personal feelings through my art, I can make a deeper connection with my viewers. There are also the connections made when someone loves the color I use, the texture, or the materials, this might evoke a memory or emotion. It’s all good.

Making art is very meditative for me, Whether it be the slow deliberate process of applying a welding flame to pieces of metal, or the relatively faster process of paint strokes of vivid colored paint on canvas, I’m expressing my thoughts, memories and perceptions of the world around me.

With my most recent pieces, I’ve challenged myself to evoke my very personal feelings about body image and depression. “Isolation” is an early warning sign for me that the depression I’ve suffered from on and off, all my adult life, is near. I’ve discovered that making and nurturing connection with others, is critical to my mental health.

I believe one or both of these conditions will have negatively impacted everyone, at some point in their lives. My greatest hope for this work is the viewer will experience strong emotion, leading to thoughtful action, creating positive change.

© Debra Maertens