Malmesbury is quite often known for its scorching heat. Adding to the heat with his amazing artwork is 18-year-old high school student Cohnwille Swarts.
Swarts, who hails from Abbotsdale – a small town outside Malmesbury – recently gained attention on social media after his visual arts teacher, Celeste Arendse, at Schoonspruit Secondary School in Malmesbury shared his artwork.
Before the art was submitted to the Western Cape Education Department for moderation, Arendse quickly shared Swarts’ work on her Facebook account.
“I can no longer contain my excitement about these artworks (Poverty as theme) of one of my Gr.12 learners,” said Arendse in a Facebook post that has been shared over 1400 times. “This boy lost his mother during lockdown and still he gives his utmost best . . . This is why I do what I do . . . because of kids like him. Cohnwille Swarts, juffrou is so trots op jou!”
Arendse told the African News Agency (ANA), “The art I shared was of his Grade 12 work, which consisted of four art pieces and one exam piece to be submitted for the year.”
Swarts, who Arendse describes as a soft-spoken young man, told ANA, “I have always loved drawing, I have been drawing since I was in Grade 3. I love it because I know this is my talent. My dream has always been to become an artist.”
The theme of Swarts’ artwork is titled: Poverty, from “where I live; my environment, my home circumstances.”
Arendse said that there is usually an annual art exhibition for the students in the school hall for all to see. “However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the exhibition was only available for the classroom and held in my class.”
Arendse lastly added, “As you know, one walks a path with children and last year I saw Cohnwille’s level of art, but in the last year I pressed him to produce to see the best in him.
“I am very impressed by his work. I have had amazing students in the past but for someone so young to be on this level means he can only prosper.”