We’re introducing you to Lien Hillen, 29-year old single mother, artist and teacher. Someone who we got to know as a strong, independent woman with a heart for art, and teaching.
‘’In my work, I juggle with the archetypes of women: the mother, the virgin, the prostitute, etc. The duality in how these ‘roles’ mix and reinforce as well as counteract each other.’’
As an artist, Lien works with a variety of media; from large charcoal drawings to performances and video work. Although they differ in form and the starting point is often autobiographical, they usually deal with the same universal themes about women and their dualities.
Lien is deeply inspired in her everyday life by her job as a teacher. In her own words:
‘’My job as a teacher is a great incentive to keep growing. Teaching becomes a part of your life, almost an addiction. The more changes you see occurring as a result of your teaching, the more you want to influence that change in students. It’s great to mentor young people and be a part of their artistic journey. As such, I prefer to think of myself as a mentor of sorts rather than a teacher.’’
This year, Lien was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis. A sometimes invisible disease that she’s educating others about.
‘’I may not always look very sick, but I chronically suffer from all sorts of ailments.’’
To take her mind off of things and stay positive, she likes to wear colorful prints, like the ones from Marylène Madou, and has bright pink hair.
What exactly is MS?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, which consists of your brain and spinal cord. Repeated and prolonged inflammation affects the insulating layer around nerve cells in several places. It’s in these places that the functioning of your nerve cells can be disrupted, causing your nerve function to be greatly reduced or even fail.
Despite her disease, or perhaps because of it, Lien treasures the beautiful moments in life and has hope for the future.
She describes her quarter-life crisis to be one of the most beautiful moments in her life.
‘’It’s when you suddenly realize that you have managed to keep a child alive for 6 years, have a good job, bought a house, and are trying to live with an abstract diagnosis.’’
Because of her diagnosis, her future suddenly became less obvious. She tries to live in the now and enjoy the small things.
Most of all, she wants to keep making art and inspiring other people along the way. We’re already very inspired by Lien’s strong spirit and story. She owns a Marylène Madou silk twill scarf in the Landscape print, Koi print and Butterfly Garden print.