Pat Bastiaanse was born with arthrogryposis, a condition affecting the joints and muscles. As a baby she underwent numerous operations to straighten her feet and align her hips, spending most of her early life in orthopaedic hospitals. At the age of five Pat went to a specialist boarding school for disabled children where calipers were fitted to her legs and a wooden frame was used to support her whilst standing. Despite the negative predictions of staff and doctors Pat was a determined little girl and, at the age of eight, she stood up from her wheelchair and walked.
When she was eleven Pat moved back home to Hull, attending the same specialist school as MFPA artist Katrina Gardiner. Here Pat started experimenting with oil paints but her painting took a back seat for many years when she married at 21.
‘M.F.P.A gives me a lot of satisfaction, as I have always liked painting since I was a child. As I now live on my own after losing my partner four years ago it gives me great pleasure to think I am painting for a reason’Pat Bastiaanse
For the next 28 years Pat spent her days cooking, cleaning and taking care of the home, even ironing with her teeth. Pat's husband was controlling and abusive but after years growing up in institutions she had no concept of a 'normal' marriage. Only after she learnt to drive and gain some independence did Pat have the courage to leave.
With new found confidence Pat began to expand her horizons. She met up with Katrina who encouraged her to start painting again, resulting in her acceptance as a Student Artist in 2009 and she has since remarried.