About the Artist: Steven’s art is turning his past life and way of thinking into a story of victory instead of self-condemnation. His drawings are made to inspire people – that we are all creative and our failures are not the end of our story. In 1989, while incarcerated, Steven had an experience that paralyzed him for 4 hours. he saw a face appear, fully Moko (full-face tattoo) which came down and with a “hongi” on the nose, which represents acceptance, bonding, and a passing of the breath of life. Sadly, after sharing this with medical staff, Steven was labelled with paranoia, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and subjected to constant humiliation and strong medication.
During this time he constantly saw the vision but had no visit. This went on for 10 years until Steven decided to try and draw what he saw, which became occupational therapy. Another 10 years went by, drawing in jails until one day his visions started appearing on paper. Steven’s drawings became his salvation, freeing him from mental health concerns, endless medication, and incarceration. He then studied Mental Health and did peer support training, and found a difference between clinical training and lived experiences. Steven see his experiences as his victory. His creative side is more than just a talent, it is gifted to him by “Waiura” (Spirit) through a kiss – to be passed to others through my artwork.
Matt & Foam
Print Size: A4 (210 x 297mm)