Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

WIM de VOS – Artist, teacher, musician, mentor, brother & friend

with 16 comments

A portrait of Wim de Vos with his work at Studio West End


For Wim, by Vicky Cooper


In your last days we visited you….

Like the artist thinking about your next artwork…

You described your final work…

How, where, when…

You would be buried….

An acrylic case made by friends

In the bush

Up a hilly rocky track

To a hidden mountain

A stand of trees that had black bark

A particular view across a Valley

A golden sunset

A rock with the Red Fox coat of arms

Also created by a friend


50 years I have known you

Sometimes distant

Sometimes close


I danced with your groupies

In Cloudland where

You played a red Fender

Those favourite songs

Neil Young, Focus, George Harrison

Beach Boys and so may more…


I danced with Opa

At the Dutch Club

I loved Oma’s apple pie

The paper flowers and the needle work

The smell of pipe tobacco

The Dutch jokes

Stories of WW2


I remember your first exhibition

Michael Milburn

Your time in Maastricht

My sister with the two boys and soon a girl

My sister is now another beautiful story

The boys are also creating new stories

And the girl is strong and confident

The world has not limited them


At seminal moments

I needed inspiration and support

You were there

With Doug…

Fellow teacher, artist and family

I for 50 years

Doug for 30….

You could be at times testing…

But you were also investing

Your energy, creativity, ingenuity and knowledge


There are so many years of art

Toowoomba, Flying Arts, McGregor…

Then West End and Adele

A collaboration that built a strong community


Each of us all has personal stories

Each will be different

But all of it rich


Just like your studio and apartment

The walls and corners of your life

Are jam packed with collections

Of moments

Sad or cantankerous

Solitary or social

Dedicated and creative


But your parting words to me now echo in my everyday

That I never stop making my art…

And I now reflect that if it were not for his support

I – and perhaps many others – would not have started…..


It is in this legacy that you will always remain




Wim de Vos

VALE Wim de Vos 27/5/1947-8/12/2018.


Christene Drewe has written a post in the State Library of Queensland’ John Oxley Library Blog about Wim and the works that they have in their collection.


SLQ-JOL Blog post by Christene Drewe





Some images of Wim from events over the last few years…


Wim presenting a long book at the Artists Book Brisbane Event – Griffith University Brisbane

Wim & Adele at ABBE Artists Book Conference July 2015

Wim showing the State Librarian Janette Wright his tunnel books at the Siganto Seminar 2015


Wim & Adele at the State Library of Qld’s Artists’ Book Fair 2015

The launch of the 'Bookplates Unbound' project with Helen Cole and Gael Phillips and others

The launch of the Bookplate collection with Anne Jolly, Helen Cole and Gael Phillips and others

A return to the ‘Band’ days at Studio West End

Farewell to ABSOE party, 23rd April 2016

A blog post about the ABSOE Studio and the NEW Studio can be found HERE


At the NEW West End Studio – November 2016

The NEW West End Studio

Adele in the New West End Studio

Lunch is prepared at the New West End Studio

Lunch at the New West End Studio


Wim will be back in the studio soon…


The studio





©Texts by Vicky Cooper . . . © All photographs by Doug Spowart


In remembrance….






16 Responses

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  1. This is so beautifully relayed from the heart. He inspired so many but 50 years is amazing Vicky.

    jan ramsay

    December 13, 2018 at 7:53 pm

  2. This is beautiful. I met him once but knew of his legacy/momentous impact. Peter

    Peter Breen

    December 13, 2018 at 11:08 pm

  3. A beautiful tribute.Thank you.


    December 14, 2018 at 5:17 am

  4. I never really knew Wim personally but I purchased a drawing of his called “Maastricht’ from his Michael MIlburn show in the 1980’s and I have lived with it daily since then, taking it back to the UK with me. I study it every day and my appreciation of his mastery draftsmanship as an outstanding artist grows and grows. I will be donating the drawing to the University Art Museum at U of Q in 2019, but I shall muss it very much. I did meet Wim briefly in 1995 on a visit back to Brisbane. He really was a brilliant artist by any standards.

    Urszula Szulakowska

    December 14, 2018 at 7:55 am

    • Thank you Urszula – my words only scratch the surface of who he was. Thank you for adding your insights — you are so right. Vicky


      December 14, 2018 at 8:45 am

  5. A beautiful and moving tribute. Thanks for sharing it.

    Brian Rope

    December 14, 2018 at 9:29 am

  6. Lovely to see and read Vale Wim


    December 14, 2018 at 10:33 am

  7. Thank you Wim, for the years of teaching at BIA when I was a student in Printing & Etching I still love it & never stop learning new things in Art.

    Elaine Coggins

    December 14, 2018 at 11:05 am

  8. Thank you for aarranging and sharing this gorgeous selection of memories. For a very long time he contributed and shared so much with so many. He will be sadly missed.
    Again , thank you.

    Sharon Lee

    December 15, 2018 at 8:17 am

  9. Bugger…

    Roger Skinner

    December 15, 2018 at 4:09 pm

  10. Great poem too

    Roger Skinner

    December 15, 2018 at 4:11 pm

  11. Thank you for your beautiful tribute to Wim. I have many happy memories of his regular visits to SLQ over the past 24 years that I have worked here.How fortunate we are to be able to access his great works in The Australian Library of Art collections. We will miss his energy and love for the book arts -a very sad loss for the Brisbane book arts community.


    January 11, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    • Thank you Christene for your comment…. And yes we have seen many of Wim’s amazing works at The Australian Library of Art at the State Library of Queensland… It is fantastic that his work is available to be read and handled at the library.


      January 11, 2019 at 3:26 pm

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