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We need Art in this Digital Age


At Open Mind, we believe that arts education is crucial for students these days, especially in light of new technologies. It develops essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration. It creates diversity, questions society, and promotes thinking.

Art is a very natural and safe way for children to express themselves and develop their own unique personalities. Getting off the screen and spending time to create an artwork with the hands is grounding, fulfilling, and relaxing. The mind can wander and hands can do manual work they are not used to do so often in this digital age. To do art means to revisit your mind, reconnect with yourself and the outside world. Observe, reflect, and put your ideas into an object. Art nurtures a cultural sophistication and encourages humans to look beyond what is necessary to do in life. Art is a luxury that we all can experience. Only if we dare to do so.

The art workshop that we are organizing is just about that! It is a great opportunity for students to be exposed to a new form of art - sculpting and learn new skills. Lydia Smith, an experienced award-winning artist, and sculptor, who worked on Game of Thrones, Star Wars IX, and other blockbusters, will share her love for art and valuable experience with our students.

Lydia will not only tell her captivating story of an artist but will also engage students in some fun hands-on activities!

Our sculptor went on to study an Art foundation diploma at ‘The University of the Arts London’ (UAL) receiving a Distinction Qualification. Smith continued her study at UAL, receiving an Upper Second Class Honors BA from Wimbledon College of Art, London. Smith has also studied and worked internationally under Robert Bodem at ‘Athens Sculpture Atelier’, Eudald De Juana Gorriz at ‘Mapstone Studio’ (UK), ‘and ‘Geode Artspace’ (Spain) and Grzegorz Gwiazda at Studio Vouzeron (France).

Alongside teaching at this prestigious University, Smith teaches sculpture from her studio, online, and alongside schools and colleges. Smith has also competed internationally at Ice and snow carving competitions in Switzerland and China.

Her team placed 2nd and 3rd in Switzerland and Forth and won the award of best creativity in China. Travel is a large part of her practice. It enables her to separate herself physically and mentally from becoming stuck in one artistic direction, allowing experimentation up to each new location. She frequents studios in France and Spain often, alongside other locations in the UK. Smith continues to explore her art practice in a myriad of ways, with her base in London.

Artist Statement

I work in water-based clay to create the majority of my sculptures. After experimenting with digital scanning, I am now creating new works incorporating this technology. I use traditional and contemporary molding and casting processes. Using my hands, I pick clay from the bucket and begin to manipulate form. I curate at what part in the process the work is transferred to digital or remains physical. I use an Xbox One Kinect sensor to scan my works. The scanner translates my sculptures into its own language. From its different interpretations, I select the forms I find interesting. I observe life created in the digital and physical environments to influence my artworks. Then, I translate these into Abstract figurative forms


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