My few days in Groot Brak were spent with two very artistic “tuned-in” women … oodles of talent, thought-provoking conversations, and an appreciation of the magic in nature. Laurinda Smit, besides her day job producing a monthly local news publication with two associates, is also a mandala artist. Using a pointillist painting technique among other styles, she paints vibrant, detailed mandalas which she sells at her studio, Gallery on 103, off Sandhoogtepad.
The word Mandala is derived from the Sanskrit term for ‘magic circle’, symbolising the universe and the energy contained within it. It represents wholeness, symmetry and perfection. Consider, too, how often the circle appears in nature … earth, sun, full moon, the solar system, plants and flowers, the concentric rings in cross-sections of a tree trunk.
A discarded chair is transformed into a Seventies Pop Art installation. Chicken wire morphs into a human figure.
Laurinda also fully embodies the Recycle Ethos by transforming anything interesting she can find, discarded along the wayside, into an artwork. Her sculptures consist of papier mâché, wire, rusted metal or stone. These are installed in all sorts of secret unexpected places in a garden that was, in Laurinda’s words ” constructed out of a void, with no plan, using waste material and discarded plants brought to life through nurturing.” The 103 bit of the name “Gallery on 103” refers to the number of steps winding through the property which hides even a mini labyrinth, the curves lined with upended green and brown glass bottles.
A pizza oven like no other, and on the right, my friends, this is a repurposed sink!
Although it wasn’t Wednesday when we, ourselves, did a magical candlelight walk in the garden at dusk, Laurinda invites residents of Groot Brak to join her on the first Wednesday of each month to be quiet and contemplative and celebrate what light gives to us … gratitude, support, guidance, hope.
Candles, candles, everywhere. Yes, the pic on the right is out of focus but it gives a good sense of the magic along the lit-up winding pathways.
For more on Laurinda’s gallery, visit www.spiritualmandalas.co.za