It's all About My Story

I am an Award-Winning Artist & Teacher and the founding owner of Lifeart School & Academy. I am also a professional and international selling artist and passionate about the role of the artist as a bringer of hope and life to the community.

‘I’m interested in relationships between emotion, colour, and symbolic images. I’m interested in expressing basic human emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and turning that into a moment of hope.’

See Artist Statement
I aim to make thoughtfully created visual art that tells my and your story. To speak to the abused, the down-trodden, the hopeless, the lost, the lonely, the shamed, the orphan and the abandoned.

 

The Life & Shaping of an Artist Statement

ORPHAN + ALCOHOLISM + TRAUMA + ABUSE + PREGNANT

I grew up as an orphan in a family of orphans.
My dad was sent off to his grandmother after he discovered his mother dead on the ground when he was 10.
My mother grew up in a big family in Cape Town and had a severe stutter.

They got married and I came along four years later. At the age of 26, my dad was already an alcoholic. My mum grew up with an aggressive alcoholic father. That caused a lot of fear and trauma that was never dealt with. She was overly strict and aggressive towards me as well. So I grew up with no protection, actually no parenting. I was looked after, fed, and probably loved but they didn’t know how to express it.

I grew up with an orphan spirit and very clearly remember deciding at the age of 4 that I would have to look after myself.

Alcoholism has a massive impact on children. Abuse teaches you not to trust authority.

If the parents are not there to protect the children, then the children are open to all kinds of abuse

From a very young age, I was exposed to sexual abuse, emotional abandonment and alcoholism.

I had my first boyfriend when I was fifteen. He was already twenty-one. At that age, it is a huge difference. I was looking for an older man to protect and father me.
He became obsessed with me and I couldn’t get rid of him. He physically and sexually abused me.

Every week I was raped, kicked, throttled and threatened with death.

I fell pregnant at sixteen.

Not by choice. I was told that I would marry this man. The baby was born dead at 7 months. I believe my child died because, being a child myself, I hated and blamed her for my situation.

This was my life. Everything around me conspired to either kill me or abuse me. My life seems to be made up by emotional abuse and blame. The cycle continued for the next 25 years. 

 
I know how it feels to be hopeless, useless and wanting to die. I know how it feels to question your existence, reason for living, and not finding the answers.
The act of making art is inherently an act of hope
Leonie.e.Brown
Artist

The Origin of my artist statement

Like every other artist, I initially threw my anger and hopelessness onto the canvas. Whilst suffering from PTSD and Anorexia I managed to finish my degree in Fine Arts and won a few national awards at the same time. I lived in constant depression, fighting for every moment of my life.
My seeking for reason and understanding drove me into very different beliefs and religions. I found my healing in God and this drove me to my Artist Statement.

Artist Statement

TRAGETY + TRUTH + MOMENT + EMOTION + MESSAGE + SPIRIT = HOPE + LIFE

tHE wHY AND THE wHAT

My work is a symbolic and fantasized reality of the soul. Each painting gets designed and developed with a specific message in mind.

The message is meant to make the viewer think and question their deepest fears and belief systems. I’m interested in the relationship between emotion, colour, and symbolic imagery. Specifically related to the spiritual significance of landscapes and animals. I want to express the basic human emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom, fear, angst and turning that into a moment of possibility.

Each painting moves your thoughts and emotions and evokes and re-create a specific time or incident. An exact individual moment of pain and memory that will be recognised and identified by the viewer. An elusive memory-moment of trauma that is hidden and deliberately forgotten. The moment that shame came in and changed your life.

It’s meant to ask the question: If this is what I fear, what do I believe in?

It becomes possible, to not only simply create a painting, but a moment. In that moment of identification, a myriad of possibilities opens up. Do I choose to lower my eyes and walk away? Do I look at this moment and recognise it for what it is? Do I admit the shame and choose to look at it and face it.

This is the moment of self-truth. The moment we all run away from. The darkness we hide in the cupboard of the past.

At that exact moment of identification, I want you, the viewer, to move from observation to emotional participation. To see beyond the obvious to the subtle and hidden message that captures something eternally unique.

The moment of your destruction was also the moment of your birth.

That which was meant to destroy can become that which makes you unique and beautiful. That which was hidden in darkness can come into the light.

And…the light is beautiful. It shines with life.

I’m trying to help you to discover beauty in the darkness of what life can be. To see beyond the distraction of the conspicuous to capture the unique self and tell the story that will catch your heart and break it to pieces, so that your heart can be restored to a new life.

Hope awakens. Out of the night arrives forth the light.

My art is a message to you. A message of hope and possibilities. I’m painting the past but pointing to the possible future.

I speak using Cold Wax and Encaustic Medium. The choice is based on the luminosity of both mediums. Different layers can be added and scraped off, sealed or burnt with a blow torch. That in itself becomes symbolic of our response to life and the moment.

Each layer becomes a unique moment that reflects the light from above and also allows it to penetrate into the hidden layers beneath. The medium in itself feels like smooth skin when touched. In that way, the painting becomes alive under the touch of the human hand, and more layers get revealed through the heat of the body infiltrating the canvas. 

Art moves your thoughts and emotions
Leonie.e.Brown
Artist

2022

CFA Artist of the Month Contest

2020

Boldbrush International Competition

2019

Boldbrush International Competition

2018

Bright Gallery, Somerset West / Am Weinburg Hotel, Windhoek Namibia

2017
Freshly Brought, Wellington, 
Meerendal Art Gallery, Meerendal Wine Estate, Durbanville, CT 
Winter Life Exhibition, Fish hoek, CT
Boldbrush August Competition * Voted

2014
Art at Constantia, Groot Constantia Art Gallery, Groot Constantia Wine Estate, CT

2013
Rosendal Art Gallery, Durbanville, CT, RED! the Gallery, Steenburg, CT, Die Meul, Philadelphia Art Gallery, Philadelphia, CT

2012
Die Meul, Philadelphia Art Gallery, Philadelphia, CT

2011
Bay Hotel Art Gallery, Camps Bay, CT
Junction Art Gallery, Cape Town, CT

2009
Orange Cactus, Table View, CT
Gallery, Big Bay, Cape Town, CT
Interview with CCFM
Interview with RSG
Die Meul, Philadelphia, CT

2008
Die Meul, One day Art Splash, Philadelphia, CT

RED! The Gallery, Steenberg Village, CT
De Brak Gallery, Groot Brak, Eastern Cape
The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay, CT
Cayman Islands

2007
Johannesburg Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show, Johannesburg
RED! The Gallery, Steenberg Village, CT

2006
Evita se Perron, Darling, Western Cape
RED! The Gallery, Steenberg Village, CT
OBZ Cafe, Cape Town

Before 2006
Potchefstroom Talent festival
Rolfes Impressions
National Volkskas Atelier * Winner in Fine Art Category
Total Exhibition for Young Artists * Top 30
Potchefstroom Art Festival
Lichtenburg Art Festival
V & A Waterfront, CT
Desire Resnick Art Gallery, CT

2004 - Current

Art Teacher and Sole Proprietor of LifeArt School and Studio

Full time Professional National and International Artist

 

1988-2004

Teacher + Graphic Designer
Sterns Visual Display Manager
Clicks Design agency 2IC
PnP Design Agency
Omri Sassi Design
Lightenburg High School

 

1987

Potchefstroom University
Degree / BA(FA) + Diploma in Teaching

Fine Art Encaustic Painter

Teacher

Writer

Motivational Public Speaker

We are really totally amazed. The dramatic mood of the picture (created especially by the detailed sky, the composition in general and the effects by the shimmer of the wax layers is truly breathtaking

Heiko, Kristin, Til and Jan

GERMANY

5/5

All I wanted to do is stand next to your painting the whole night and experience the peace and quiet it made me feel like I was enveloped in love and peace.’

Anonymous

Cape Town

5/5
Info and Hours

1st Durbanville Scouts, De Villiers Drive, Durbanville, Cape Town

+27 (082) 4498475
Mondays: Admin & Teaching
Tuesday to Thursdays: Admin & Painting
Fridays: Admin & Teaching

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