Lynette Swanepoel


About Lynette Swanepoel

I  studied Graphic Design as with most artists way back then, fine arts were not seen as a viable career option. I added a Post School education degree to my resume and taught Graphic Designer at the Vaal University of Technology for 25 years, as Senior Lecturer. I have since moved to the Eastern Free State on a farm near Bethlehem. I am surrounded by the beauty and mountains of the Maluti and Witteberge; truly blessed to live so close to nature.


I am now Farmer, Artist, Photographer and Part-time teacher of Visual arts and Photography at Voortrekker High School in Bethlehem.

Artist Statement:

I have always been fascinated by the portrait, how the human face can express through eyes and lines and features a lifetime of experiences, their personality and although it sounds like a cliché each face truly tells a story.  I often think it is because I actually am very bad at remembering faces of the people I meet, that when I capture a face as a portrait I can search for the inner person and explore ways of capturing the unique spirit, the emotion, that which was invisible and making it visible to the viewer.

My inspiration comes from everyday life, characters and stories but I am mostly inspired by my faith and everything I do is interwoven in my spiritual journey. My hope is that my work and my life will be a testament to my faith.

I work mostly in pastel, soft and hard pastels, my work in pastel is mostly realistic with some expressive qualities. I photograph my own subjects with a specific idea of what I want the final piece to be like.

In the pastel piece “The Initiation”;  I was fascinated by both the ceremony and the juxtaposition of the ancient elements of the ritual and the elements and contemporary elements; the young boy’s mirrored “Ray-ban” sunglasses and sports cap contrasting with the beaded headband and traditional Basotho blanket that he wears. I found most interesting is how the indigenous culture was mixed with Western influences. In the reflection of his glasses, you can also see he is standing on the skin of an animal that was slaughtered for the occasion.

The boy in the “Initiation” piece looked traumatized as if he has endured a lot and whatever his experience was clearly expressed in his face and demeanor.

I often venture off into other media such as mixed media, charcoal, pencil, ink, and printmaking. I then tend to use a lot of symbolism related to religion or referring to the current state of social society. I find moving away from the realism using other media, offers a kind of freedom, relaxing from the urge to always create perfection and to sometimes just be creative making art from the heart and not the mind.

I am also exploring the medium of digital photography as a fine art tool it enables me to explore and find the hidden beauty in things that have been left to decay, rust, forgotten, hidden or even dead. The nature of digital media allows me to have an instant creative injection.

My art journey is a continuous one, forever searching, exploring, finding the next challenge. This journey has no end in sight.

Top Exhibitions

  • 1982-1990 : Staff exhibitions annually Goldfields Gallery on campus Vaal University of Technology
  • 1987 : Ivan Solomon Gallery, Technikon Pretoria: Group exhibition
  • 1989 : Stegmann Gallery, U.O.F.S. - Staff Group exhibition (Vaal University of Technology staff.)
  • 1992-1995 : Goldfields Gallery, Vaal Triangle Technikon - Art School
  • 2010 – Grassland Meander exhibition "tryptic" black and white prints selected
  • 2013 – Boksburg Art center, Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards – 2 works selected


  • Matriculation@ Voortrekker High School Bethlehem
  • National Diploma Graphic Design @Technikon OFS
  • B-Tech Post School Education @Vaal University of Technology


  • Best Student award in Academic Achievement : The Faculty Of Humanities
  • Academic Colours for Achievement: Cum Laude
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