On the 30th of April, Joe-dean, James & Mamory were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to create their own masterpiece under the tuition of renowned artist and sculptor, Lionel Smit. These works of art are to be auctioned at the upcoming Golf Days, both local and international.
Lionel has created grand masterpieces in both paintings and sculptures alike, and we mean quite literally grand, with some canvases over 6 feet tall and sculptures nearly 10 feet off their bases. His artistic style is described as a “dialogue between the two art forms, inventively treating sculptural surfaces as templates for painting, and painted surfaces as opportunities for sculptural fragmentation.” In most cases, his creative inspiration is from anonymous models from the Cape Malay community, posing in beautiful and sometimes haunting art pieces, where the raw emotion is transparent in the replications of their faces. His process is fluid, inventive and enchanting - he paints abstract canvases and allows them to “rest” in the studio whilst the ideas formulate and flow in his creative space until he is ready to complete the process, by hand, with pictures of the models faces.
Lionel exhibits locally in South Africa, as well as internationally, where he is considered to be one of the countries’s youngest investment artists and has established an international following. Lionel described the day as follows “I really enjoyed it and I think experiences like this makes a difference in changing their lives even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. They are very intelligent because they decipher things and are so intrigued by everything, one forgets that this all becomes so normal to you but when they come in here and discover something new, it’s exciting to see.” On why Lionel supports MAD CHARITY™, he said that he "enjoys supporting new projects that empowers young kids and inspires them to do things they were not able to do". Lionel summed up the day as “very direct and raw creativity as I don’t get to spend this much time at once on one thing with this kind of creative energy – this is dedication to completing the project which is very cool.”
The learner’s creative juices were flowing that day and found it was an “amazing experience to work with a famous artist”. They learnt not to mix 2 oil colours together, how to turn a creative piece around when it doesn’t turn out the way you envisioned, that they can do it and that there is no right or wrong when it comes to art. Joe-Dean went on further to say “We enjoyed ourselves a lot, it has been fun and we loved the images and sculptures, you can feel the creativity here. You feel like you can express yourself in every way”. When asked how they felt about their artwork becoming an auction item, they were all in agreement when they said “We are proud that this is an auction item in that we are a part of it. We feel special because this is the first time someone will buy something we made.”
The process involved a “creative immersion” of the artwork in the studio, receiving the blank canvases and paint colour palette to be used, completing the background layer and waiting for it to dry, drawing / outline of the face with pencil, once satisfied with this process painting the face as well as working on the contrast / shadow and detail of the face.
Joe-Dean, James & Mamory wanted to say to “we felt special we were chosen to work with Lionel, it was the second best thing to being chosen to be a part of MAD CHARITY™. We are thankful to Lionel as we learnt a lot, and got an opportunity to show off our talent and now we feel more confident about our creative skills as we could express ourselves with no right or wrong. Thank you for showing us all your sculptures and explaining them to us.”
All in all, both Lionel and the learners were proud of their finished product. The team chose the word Dedication to sum up the day and time with MAD CHARITY™.