Louise du Toit has been exhibiting her work as a drawing artist since May 2007, when she had her first art exhibition at the historic Art Gallery of Stablus on the beautiful island of Corfu in Greece. It was titled "Under the African Sun" and introduced the visitors to the advanced technique of combining colorful drawings, paper-cutting and collage with subjects drawn from nature, landscapes and life in her continent of origin, Africa.
In 2008, she completed the music, lyrics, orchestrations and recordings of a collection of ten songs about African animals. These songs accompanied ten of her paintings at her second exhibition, which was held at the historic Municipal Art Gallery of Corfu in Greece in May 2008, under the title of "The Colors of Africa". Also included in all these exhibitions were fourteen piano compositions which she wrote to musically express the vibrant and colorful energy of her animal paintings, together with humorous short stories based on her childhood memories from South Africa. The same collections of multimedia art were displayed at her third exhibition, "Images of Africa", in September 2008, at the magnificent Athens Residence of the South African Ambassador in Greece, as well as in a fourth exhibition held at the Corfu Imperial in October 2008.
Her latest exhibition was a colorful display of the scenery, costumes and stage props of "The Witch of Woccabocca", in May 2011, at the Municipal Art Gallery of Corfu.
Books of Inspiration
A favorite pass time of Louise in between her other artistic activities, is collecting favorite images, colors, patterns, words and thoughts and uniting these to create colorful collages, forming the pages of her growing collection of "Books of Inspiration". She also interweaves some of her lyrics, compositions and drawings into the vibrant pages. One of her books, containing more than 75 detailed collages, was included in her multi-media exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery of Corfu in 2008.
In March 2011, Louise completed the script and music scores of her first full musical, "The Witch of Woccabocca", of which the Greek translation was done by the distinguished Athens-based writer and poet, Panagiotis Xanthopoulos.
As the main director and scenic designer of "The Witch of Woccabocca", she had the privilege of working with an amazingly talented team of almost a hundred amateur and professional artists and musicians, child actors and music students.
The team of multi-cultural artists collaborated with great enthusiasm and tireless dedication for several months, to finally deliver two very successful performances at the Municipal Theater of Corfu in Greece in May and December 2011, in collaboration with the Ionian Conservatory of Music.
The young performing artist, Stamatis Koulouridis, is captured here on film portraying the role of Zizi, the lazy cat of the wicked witch Gisela, in "The Witch of Woccabocca". Photograph by Costas Tsiringakis.
Young performer Danai Vradi is here portraying the role of Atlanti, the beautiful Queen of the Fairies. She is surrounded by magic flowers and little elves in the atmospheric woods of Woccabocca.
A Scenery Exhibition
A week after the first performance of her musical, "The Witch of Woccabocca", in May 2011 at the Municipal Theater of Corfu in Greece, a colorful exhibition of the scenery, costumes and stage props of the play was held at the Municipal Art Gallery of Corfu.
She designed the background scenery in the form of four mobile, swirling triangles and made several extremely colorful, detailed paintings and objects, which were used to create a collage against the splashed backgrounds, enhancing the depth of it with an almost 3-d effect. Collaborating with Prokopis Anthis for months to construct the challenging scenery, they created twelve charming backdrops for the four different scenes; many life-like Woccabocca trees and stones; a huge, humorous cauldron and cage belonging to the witch and several other magic objects.
The smaller stage props were designed and created with much flair and inspiration by Dionysia Kollia. Vanessa Wrench designed and made the extraordinary beautiful costumes of the whole cast, enhancing the whole production with a fantastic use of colorful fabrics and accessories.
The exhibition also included the artistic photographs of Costas Tsiringakis, taken at the final dress rehearsal, as well as many images which captured the vibrant, joyous spirit of the participants during their countless rehearsals and preparations.
The Vagina Dialogues
In April 2010, Louise wrote the music and lyrics for "The Vagina Dialogues", a bilingual play based on "The Vagina Monologues " of Eve Ensler. She also did the music arrangements and performed the songs live on stage with the actresses during three sold-out productions in April 2010, at the Municipal Theater of Corfu in Greece. You can listen to two of her songs in the videos here, the latter which she created with images of the actresses during the first performances.
Louise is currently working on completing the scripts, music, lyrics and arrangements for her next two musicals, for future performances in theaters in Greece and other countries of the world. "Kick the Clock" is a romantic musical set in the late forties, with a compelling mix of adventure and blossoming love interwoven in the script. "Pecafeca" is a humorous and musical look at the intriguing lives of the members of an utterly creative community of South African penguins living on Robben Island. Spending many hours shaping her musical characters, Louise is enjoying developing the storylines, designing and drawing the stage sets and orchestrating her compositions, watching it all coming alive on paper.
The very first songbook of the artist was written in her native Afrikaans language and published in South Africa. It was titled "Lawwe Liedjies vir Lekker Luimpies" and it consisted of 12 humorous songs about imaginary characters living in magic places. Louise also illustrated the book with drawings which expressed the playful atmosphere of the music and the adventurous nature of the lyrics. She is currently working on completing two more multimedia books in English and Greek, both of which will consist of her music, lyrics, stories and illustrations.