I am a South African artist who grew up in the Free State where open space and skies dominate. I have been involved in a wide range of art activities that include teaching for 13 years, running a community art program, being co-founder of a discussion group, presenting a series of workshops in my studio, doing art collaborations, attending art retreats and mounting exhibitions. I now work and live in Stellenbosch near Cape Town.

I love drawing, because it allows me to investigate the complexity of seeing. I am attracted to the medium of etching for its tangibility and the intensity of the printed black and white, as well as the dense layering which offers great power of expression. I have also developed three dimensional work, experimenting and working with a choice of materials in order to make new connections and offer ways of portraying intuitions in a concrete manner.

In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, when political tension was very high in South Africa due to Apartheid policies, my work reflected a concern with the human condition. I worked exclusively in black and white in printmaking, and in sculpture used cast cement and cast metals to produce travelling landscapes. After 1994 I turned increasingly to the natural world, making drawings in situ, which I then translated into printmaking techniques exploring lithography, serigraphy and hand-coloured prints. From this era dates several commissions completed for a number of Universities and also for private clients.

Surfacing consistently in my work has been an interest in sound and silence. Recently, as the result of an investigation into the visualization of sound, my interest in the structures of nature and the interconnectedness between things has deepened. Sonar images of the ocean floor and vibration patterns produced by sound waves have served as source material for much of my current work. By understanding matter and energy as one, interaction with the natural world becomes the creative reality. Consistent with this has been the advent of collaborative work with people from diverse disciplines.


Lyn Smuts

Curriculum Vitae