Be Inspired

Meet Artist Phoebe Hofsteede

Phoebe’s artwork will be on show at the 2019 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition

Phoebe Hofsteede

Five years ago Phoebe Hofsteede was walking through Brisbane city and came across a public art exhibition featuring a diverse range of artwork. Captivated by the variety of pieces on display, Phoebe was inspired to enter as well.

“The thing that struck me the most was firstly the accessibility because it was in the city and it was open to the public, and also the representation of people with lived experience of mental illness. That really spoke to me and I wanted to get involved because that’s something that means a lot to me.”

A photographic and mixed media artist, Phoebe visualises a concept and combines her photographs with crafting and collage skills. Using resources such as dried flowers or collage pieces, she creates stunning visuals that entice the viewer to stop and admire her pieces.

Drawing from nature, her artwork captures the beauty a photograph which Phoebe then adds to with her personal creative touch. “Nature for me has always been a part of my life because I’ve grown up in the country, but it is my therapy. When I’m in nature I’m instantly calmed.”

Also inspired by her late aunt, Melbourne artist Juli Haas, Phoebe fondly remembers her work style and work ethic, and how she was an amazing person forging a career for herself. Phoebe also admires the work of Anne ten Donkelaar from the Netherlands, whose influence is evident with the beautiful presentations in Phoebe’s designs.

Phoebe’s first experience exhibiting at, what is now known as the Recovered Futures Art Exhibition, was a significant one, as it helped her realise she was a true artist.

“The first year I exhibited I went to the opening night and I was looking for my work. I saw sold signs on all of them and I started crying because I didn’t think someone would like my work enough to buy it. It was really humbling.”

Phoebe says seeing her artwork on display at events like the Recovered Futures Art Exhibition, and seeing people engaging with it, is exciting and a really nice feeling.

“I want people to be able to feel like they can relate to my art on some level or be able to learn something new. If the viewer doesn’t have any associations with mental illness or mental health I want them to be able to know about it – and for those who are struggling or looking for answers, I want them to feel like they’re not alone.”

The 2019 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition is the perfect platform for artists with a lived experience wanting to get their start in the art scene and source exposure and experience. Acclaimed artists enter each year as this art exhibition provides a fantastic opportunity to display their work amongst a spectrum of unique pieces and styles by their peers.

“I always get blown away by the range of talent and the skills levels – there are so many different styles of art and different levels of artistic ability. Whether it’s a hobby or you’re a beginner or emerging artist, I love seeing all the different ranges of art.”

“There’s a sense of community and feeling like you’re part of something. It’s really special,” Phoebe says.

For visitors to the exhibition, Phoebe hopes the incredible range and diversity of art and ability brings to light the importance of mental health, and make people realise that suffering from a mental illness is more common than people realise. “Mental illness shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of and it should be treated in the same way as physical illness or inability. That’s what I hope the public takes away from the exhibition.”

“I really love this exhibition because it’s about something I’m passionate about.”

Artist Advice


“Get creative. Anything crafty or even colouring in books. I think they’re a good start because they have the design already there, it’s just a matter of picking and choosing what colours to use. Even collages, like going through old books or magazines and pictures online – I loved doing visual diaries when I was a student. If I couldn’t figure out my style first, I would find images I liked, print them out and then add them to a book, and then I could flip through and mix and match different pictures and other artists’ work. This helped me figure what I’m drawn to and how I can develop my style.”


“Totally do it. It doesn’t matter what skill level you’re at, because that’s the thing I’ve found with this exhibition – it welcomes all skill levels and all backgrounds. It’s nice to be part of something big and really awesome like this, especially if mental health is important to you, and as a form of expression.”

To see Phoebe’s beautiful images, put the 2019 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition from 5 – 11 October in your diary. It is being held in the Toowong Room of Brisbane City Hall and all artwork is available for purchase.

If you are an artist with a lived experience of mental illness, or you are a carer/family member of someone with lived experience, and would like to register to exhibit your own artwork at this event click here and register by Friday 12 July 2019. A flat rate Registration fee of $11 applies. Please read the Terms & Conditions.

T: 07 3363 2555

Meet Artist David Jones

David will be exhibiting at this year’s 2019 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition

David Jones

David Jones is an artist with a distinctive style that pops no matter from where you’re viewing his art. With intricate details, his artwork draws you in and makes you ponder. There is so much to see, to examine, to comprehend – the detail inside the detail just keeps going. Having created so many artworks with his trademark imagery, he has solidified his style in the Brisbane art scene.

Painting different styles based on subject matter, he describes one of his signature styles as ‘cartoonesque iconography’ which incredibly, he draws from memory. Featuring objects that intersect with each other, balancing the relationship between images and positive and negative space, every iconic object is meticulously balanced to work with the narrative he wants to project.

Another style David explores is surrealist art, which he uses to look at hereditary mental illness. Using subject matter in a didactic approach, he encourages the viewer to look into his artwork more and more. Drawing away from the vivid colours of his cartoon style when producing surrealist pieces, he finds a restricted colour palette complements the subject matter and reinforces the bleak feeling he’s suggesting in his artwork.

David has been an exhibitor at the Recovered Futures Art Exhibition (previously known as MIFQ Art Exhibition) for 13 years. First submitting artwork in his university years, his popularity as an artist has flourished and he has experienced great success selling his art. But the main reward is exposure. Now a well-known name amongst the Art Exhibition circle, David is throwing himself into his creativity and producing incredible artworks with intricacies that speak to a detail-oriented mindset.

“I like people to engage with my work because a lot of it is so detailed. I like seeing people enjoy that experience of looking and discovering things in things, sub-narratives and narratives. I like to surprise the viewer.”

It’s not only David’s artwork that will surprise viewers. Everyone who attends RFQ’s 2019 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition will be amazed at the eclectic and surprising artworks from all walks of life across the mental health recovery landscape.
“I’ve never really seen such a diverse arrangement of paintings all in one place. You don’t really get that in a normal gallery setting,” David says.

The 2019 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition aims to challenge the misconceptions commonly associated with mental illness while promoting a deeper inclusivity throughout society. A signature event of Queensland Mental Health Week, the exhibition gives artists with a lived experience of mental illness a platform to showcase and sell their artwork in a professionally curated environment.
David says he hopes the public see that people affected by mental illness have incredible imaginations and ways of translating their thoughts and feelings into art. If viewers delve deeper into what the artist is trying to say, they might discover more insight and understanding into the ways others think.

“I like hearing different interpretations of ambiguous narratives of things I’ve created. It’s all different and, with abstract art, people are going to perceive something different.”

Artist Advice


“Look at other people’s work or things that you might have found that inspire you and look how how they [artists] have constructed something. You don’t necessarily emulate that, but you’ll get influenced by bombarding yourself with different artists and their artworks. I’m influenced by art that looks nothing like mine, certain techniques I might have adapted or appropriated in a different way.”

“Just keep painting. Just keep doing it.”


“Create 4 or 5 pieces and show them to your family and friends and see if there’s a unanimous couple of artworks that stick out. Hone in on the artistic style that’s working for you and evolve that style.”

“I think it’s a brilliant opportunity for exposure for everyone involved.”

To see more of David’s artwork, and maybe purchase one of his pieces for yourself, make sure you visit the 2019 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition from 5 – 11 October, in the Toowong Room of Brisbane City Hall.

If you would like to register to exhibit your own artwork at this event click here and register by Friday 12 July 2019. Registration costs $11. Please read the Terms & Conditions.

T: 07 3363 2555

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