I was born in the Netherlands and came to Australia at the age of 13 in 1978 with my family. We moved to a small country town named Buninyong which is about 10km from Ballarat. 

    Being new to the country I was a little lonely and used to go for big exploratory walks with my dog. The thing that struck me was that there was so much abandoned junk (history) lying around the place. I started bringing this junk home and making things out of it which eventually led me to completing a degree in Sculpture at RMIT in Melbourne.

    I feel very lucky during this COVID crisis. It has not really impacted my life negatively as my sculpture has always been a fairly lonely practice. With my studio being at home, in West Footscray, it hasn’t changed my life too much.

    So at the moment I’m feeling positive as I’m still able to do what I enjoy but feeling a little guilty as I know that a lot of people are really suffering. The positive things I do to help me cope are going for walks with my dog and family, staying in contact with friends and family, skateboarding, staying creative and active. 

    I have also been really enjoying fixing my dad’s model ships which were badly damaged. Dad was a sailing and shipping fanatic and I miss him. I used to do a lot of this as a hobby when I was younger. I’m so happy to have rediscovered this as I’m not in front of the TV and it’s a nice break from art and I feel I’m reconnecting with him in some way.

    The way I reach out to others is by getting and staying in contact with them. Making sure that they are doing okay and offering assistance when needed.

    Article courtesy of Maidstone Community Centre’s ‘Maidstone & Surrounds’ Series.
    For more info: @maidstonecommunitycentre /

    Jos Van Hulsen is local artist, sculptor and furniture maker and co-owner of Post Industrial Design, West Footscray. For more info: @josvanhulsen /


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