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  • Writer's pictureThuthukani "TK" Ndlovu

Radioactive Art 1.0

// A preview of 3 Artists //

Artwork by Chengetai (Lerato) Masalethulini

Greetings dear reader. I hope the month of April has been keeping you well. This time around, we will be providing you with a new category to our publications, and this is ART. I've always been talking about music, poetry, books and events, so I decided to bring in a new field of interest. I once was an artist (back in high school), and as of late I've been bumping into amazing pieces art frequently, to the point that I'm even thinking of drawing something one of these upcoming days. Well, let's get into it.

First up we got a beautiful lady who goes by the name of Chengetai (Lerato) Masalethulini , and she's a Southern African. Yes, I did not make a mistake, she said she's a Southern African (basically a mix of Zimbabwe and South Africa). A very unique description given indeed, as I've never heard of it before. Her Artist name is Chengetai Lerato <3 / Chele <3 , and she's currently based in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. Most of her work is traditional fine art. Her work consists of commissioned portraits, abstract and wildlife pieces in pencil, charcoal, oil paint, pastel, water color , acrylics and mixed media. She also does murals, sign writing and chalkboard art. Her main inspiration comes form nature, the uniqueness of God's creations, but she said it can also be anything, even song. Her art can be described as bohemian (the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic, or literary pursuits), eclectic and whimsical. Chengetai won first place at an art competition which was held  at the Harare Showgrounds Agricultural Show back when she was in grade 7. For those zimbos that don't know, she's actually the sign writer for Food Lover's Market, the one based in Glen Lorne. You can find her work at Chengetai Lerato Art Facebook page. Alright, enough of me chatting. Here's some of her amazing work:

Moving on to the next artist, we got Liesel Wessels, a South African currently based in Bloemfontein. For her drawings, she uses pencil, charcoal &/ Pitt; for paintings, oil, and for multimedia, she uses a combination of drawing, painting, photographs, and other non-traditional mediums.  I asked her what inspired her to do Art, and she said that she always loved Art ever since she was a little girl, of which she thinks maybe it was because she was extremely shy, and found it easier to play with paint than to talk to people. She also stated that one of her major role players was her first teacher, "Ernst de Jongh" , who opened a whole new Art world to her and made Art very exciting and challenging in a good way. Her work can be described as feminine, versatile, and detailed. Similar to Chengetai, she won an art competition in primary school - she won a T-shirt drawing competition when she was in Grade 1. She also won the Kovsie Culture Award in 2004. Liesel is currently the founder and administrator of the Free State Arts Network (an Arts advertising platform and professional network for the local arts/design/creative industry) and also the manager of the "Bloemfontein Guide". You can find links to all her work on her website: . I've decided to share with you some of her really beautiful work below:

The 3rd artist on our line up is Lionel De Villiers Smit (Artist name: Lionel Smit). He's also a South African, but he's currently based just outside of Capetown. He's mostly into painting, sculpting, print-making, photography and drawing. He believes that Art is something he feels compelled to do and can better relate it to one of his passions. His work can be best described as expressive and emotional. Lionel Smit's paitning "Kholiswa" was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London where it received the Viewer's Choice Award, as well as selected as the "face of the BP Portrait Award" in 2013 for all campaigns. He's been honored with a Ministerial Award from the Department of Culture for Visual Art in 2013.  A highlight of his career has been the publication of one of his painting on the cover of Christie's Auction Catalog. He also hosts a number of exhibitions every year. Lionel Smit has been selected as one of the featured artists for a Global Art Fair called "Art 16" which will be hosted in Oympia - London, the 20th to the 22nd of May 2016. You can find more of his work on his website: . Here's some of his art:

We have finally come to the end of the Radioactive Art article. If you like what you've seen, make sure you follow the links provided and contact the artists. Remember that even if you're not in the same location as the artists, arrangements can be made. To end the article, I'll leave you with a few words from the artists (especially for those who would like to get into the industry/ are upcoming artists in search of inspiration) , including more links to their work.

"For any upcoming artist, I say God gave you that gift and passion for a reason. Be true to yourself and love what you do; money should be a bonus and not the reason you're pursuing a career in Art. If you don;t value your Art, sometimes nobody else will. You just have to be stubborn about it and grow a thick skin, becasue rejection isn't the end of the world - it only helps to direct you where you belong" - Chengetai Lerato Masalethulini (Chengetai Lerato Art)

"Art is in essence an entrepreneurial business so it's really important to get yourself clued up in skills such as : Networking, Marketing/branding/Social Media, and professionalism (what galleries and businesses expect from you). Grasp all the opportunities you can take - it's like planting seeds, sometimes you see results immediately and sometimes it works like a bamboo plant that you water for years and you see no result - until one day it springs to life and grows almost overnight." - Liesel Wessels ( Pinterest ; Website ; Painting is love ; South African artists )

"I think the idea of being an artist may seem very glamorous to some, but there is a lot of discipline involved, which will help you gain a work ethic. Also get as much advice from the right people. This can be done through speaking to artists that inspire you, or by attending as many exhibitions as posible."- Lionel Smit ( Website ; Galleries: Everard-Read ; Rook And Raven ; Cynthia Reeves )


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