Our Year 9 to 12 Art & Design students and Year 12 English Literature students were terribly excited anticipating our imminent trip to Lionel Smit’s Studio. We were met with a flurry of activity as Lionel and staff were busy preparing and packing his latest works for an upcoming exhibition early in March at the Everard Read CIRCA gallery, in Cape Town.
Our guide, Donnay, Gallery and Logistics Manager, commenced the tour by visiting the upstairs printing area, where silkscreen and Giclée prints are created and briefly explained and illustrated various examples of the different printing techniques, as well as some etchings and chine-collé prints.
Next, was the painting section, where numerous artworks were stationed in different areas, some in the process – as Lionel works on several pieces at once, sometimes for several years in some cases. The area houses an interesting array of paint, drawing materials and various precious pieces from his earlier years, as well as a superb private collection of inspirational artworks he has acquired over the years, displayed in the passage area.
The cherry on the top was the sculpture section where Lionel was very busy working on a large semi-circular sculpture and he graciously shared his pressurised time to discuss his work, inspiration and processes, also taking the time to answer some technical questions the students had prepared whilst we helped roll small balls of a plasticine mix to add to his latest sculpture.
Lionel was introduced to the world of art by his father, renowned sculptor, Anton Smith, whose studio was adjacent to the family home. Lionel drew inspiration from the early classical artists, and the expressive colourful brush strokes of the Fauves, tending to favour the softer feminine aspect, or Madonna figure, also inspired by the many beautiful faces that make up the rich cultural Identity of our diverse country.
Gallery visits and art/design/craft interviews form an essential part of the Art & Design course. This inspiring visit catered for many aspects of the students areas of interest – painting, sculpture and printing – as well as architecture, especially the versatile and voluminous, church-like space of the studio and gallery designed by talented local architect Stuart Hermansen.
We are incredibly lucky to have a famous multi-disciplinary artist like Lionel Smit right in our very midst, and reasonably accessible. I trust and hope that the visit will inspire our students to even greater heights.
Our visit also served to inspire our accompanying Yr 12 English Literature students to write some art reviews.
Below are some of the comments made by the Art & Design students following their visit:
I enjoyed seeing Lionel Smit’s workshop and how he works in the different areas. I like the use of expressive and bold colours, instead of using “realistic” colours for his work. Ineke Yr 12
When I arrived I was excited to see art pieces I had seen from Lionel on the internet in person. I liked the pieces I saw because I was able to analyse them more thoroughly by being a few inches away from the artworks. I liked the texture on all of them and how the art size scales varied which made every piece unique.
The fact that it was my first art exhibition also added to my excitement of being there. Ben Yr 10
The visit to the Lionel Smit Gallery was a truly inspiring experience which reignited my flame for art and made me want to push myself and my style even further. Keenan Yr 12
The art gallery was an interesting and fun experience, it was also very inspiring. The way he does his paintings flow and they always come together with a colour palette that is similar, like yellow and brown. I want to be able to do a similar style like his. Milla Yr 11
It was very interesting to see his studio and where he works, especially the sculpture room. I fairly enjoyed being able to actually talk to him and see and hear about silk-screening and the prints done. Zoey Yr 11
The Lionel Smit Studio was a very eye opening experience. I got insight on the lives of artists on their many processes to produce their final artworks. The studio showed me that there are numerous things, methods and tools needed for some pieces of artwork. Every piece of art was as great or even greater than the next. His artwork definitely pushed me towards a new direction and even made me want to sculpt and create something more tangible. His colour and way of painting had made me question my own art and stimulate me to try something different. Sibo Yr 11
I really enjoyed going to the Lionel Smit art studio. It was amazing to see his sculptures in real life and learn about the process he uses to create these magnificent pieces of artwork. It was also exciting to meet Mr Smit in person. I was very inspired by his paintings and it makes me want to just sit down and start painting and there was a very interesting sculpture I recognised. This is the sculpture that I found very interesting. It is called the Morphous. This is where two heads are morphed together. I didn’t have the original picture of it when we went to the gallery. But I enjoy how the sculpture is connected together and they are both facing the other directions from each other. Arella Yr 10
The studio gave me an insight into Lionel Smit’s artistic passion. The opportunity to actually meet him inspired creativity inside of me. Lionel Smit’s statue structures reveal to us the message he is trying to pass on and the emotions he is trying to evoke in a viewer. I would describe the art as Lionel expressing/highlighting the beauty of his subjects. It’s extraordinary to me that he can capture a person’s significance. My first impression of seeing all his work was “wow, how can someone be so gifted” and I am grateful that he chose to share his gift with the world. Imitha Yr 10
I really liked that we could meet Lionel Smit and see his work area and you could sense how comfortable he is in his own space. I also really liked seeing all of his artwork and sculptures. Katherine Yr 9
The Lionel Smit exhibition was quite enlightening. I most enjoyed the outing; it was incredibly relaxing to be in an art-focused environment. Being able to see the finished pieces physically gave a much different experience compared to searching it up online. The scale at which Smit presented his artworks really added to the grandeur of his pieces. When observing him work, I could easily see how relaxed and comfortable he seemed, how much he enjoyed working. It was amazing to think that such a “chill” man had made such extraordinary art. Levi Yr 9
I am interested in architecture and I must say I really enjoyed Lionel Smit’s Studio. I was very inspired by Stuart Hermansen’s work with the design of the studio. I really admired the simplicity of it, because Stuart Hermansen left it as open concrete and the usage of sharp angles and edges.This also complimented Lionel’s work and made the colour seem more powerful with the contrast with the concrete. Lionel Smit’s artworks were also very spectacular. His ability to work with colour and his subject matter is also highly proficient. Jensen Yr 11
Mrs Lynda Leibbrandt, High School Art TeacherRead More
Welcome to the Counselling Corner: A space where we will discuss all things mental health.
We cannot give from an empty cup!
Navigating parenthood, your job, your family, and your relationships can be challenging. Never mind keeping the house in order, squeezing in an hour of Netflix, and taking care of yourself.
We are bombarded with things fighting for our attention every day, making it especially challenging to make time for ourselves. We often forget to pause and check in on ourselves, to reflect on our wellbeing. This reflection is crucial as we are at the centre of everything we do. Our emotional wellbeing influences every aspect of our lives, including the people we interact with. My hope is thus that you choose to take a moment each day to focus on your wellbeing this year—to ask yourself how you are really doing.
My aim is that the Counselling Corner will serve as a space where you can learn how to fill your cup; where you can be equipped with the tools to improve your mental health and overall wellbeing; where you can check in on yourself and be reminded of the importance of your emotional state and its effect on the wellbeing of your child/ren.
Some topics we will discuss throughout the year include:
· Dealing with adjustment
· Positive discipline strategies
· Managing depression and anxiety
· Healthy childhood development
· Barriers to learning (how can I help my child?)
· Emotional regulation
· Time management
· Self-esteem and motivation
The What, Why, and Who of CounsellingThe What, Why, and Who of Counselling
WHAT is counselling:
I like to describe counselling as a process that aims to help people feel better about themselves, to cope better with their emotions and environment, to understand their thoughts, behaviours, and problems, and develop coping skills and solutions for them.
Counselling is a supportive, trusting, empathetic, genuine, and reflective relationship, aimed at helping individuals express themselves fully, without fear of judgement or condemnation. It is a safe and confidential space where someone can figure out what they want or need and how to accomplish it. A space to implement positive change and make positive choices by working through challenges.
During counselling we talk, play, draw, complete worksheets, and participate in physical activities with the aim to encourage the processing and expression of emotions.
Going for counselling does NOT mean:
• “Something is wrong with me”
• “I am crazy”
• “I am weak”
• “I’m just going to lie in a chair”
• “Someone will be telling me what to do”
Children move through several psychosocial developmental stages as they grow up. These stages require them to overcome social and emotional challenges to successfully move to the next stage of their development. Sometimes (due to loss, trauma, change, behavioural challenges, and/or emotional turmoil) children may require extra help to successfully move from one stage to the next.
Counselling can be extremely helpful to support your child’s development. During counselling, I will help your child express their feelings and thoughts in a safe and appropriate way. I will help your child feel better about themself and develop a stronger sense of self. I will also work on helping your child communicate and cope better with their environment. When working with children below the age of 14, the collaboration of parents (and sometimes teachers/family members) plays an important role.
Adolescence can be a stage of emotional turmoil, uncertainty and confusion. Adolescents experience many challenges, especially regarding their self-esteem, identity formation, relationships, school performance and peer pressure.
During counselling, I aim to provide a safe space for your adolescent to speak freely, without shame or fear of judgement. Helping your adolescent develop the skills and emotional competence to better cope with life’s challenges will be a core focus of the counselling process.
When working with children/adolescents, I utilize an integrative approach to counselling, primarily drawing upon Play Therapy techniques, Person-Centred Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioural skills training.
WHO would benefit from counselling:
Any person (young and old) who experiences any of the following:
- Lack of self-esteem
- Need for subject/career guidance
- Wanting to hurt oneself/someone else
- Sadness/ loneliness/depression
- Home/work challenges
- Loss of a loved one
- Being bullied
- Struggling with school (which includes specific barriers to learning)
- Prolonged fearfulness/hypervigilance
- The effects of trauma
- Substance use/addictive behaviour
- Adjustment and life changes
- Feeling overwhelmed/struggling to cope
- Struggling to make friends or effectively communicate with others
You are welcome to contact me with any enquiries, comments or discussion topics you would like to see in The Counselling Corner.
Until next time.
Ms Inge Smit
HIS School CounsellorRead More