Exquisite oil paintings, crude wooden carvings and a study by a portraitist known for his work on the British royal family, have gone on display in Cape Town, all with a single subject: Nelson Mandela.
Mayor Patricia de Lille opened the We Love Mandela, Art Inspired by Madiba exhibition at the V&A Waterfront yesterday.
The exhibition is part of the touring Peacemakers Museum in Cape Town, which is dedicated to the world’s Nobel laureates.
The exhibition is a unique celebration of 20 years of democracy in South Africa and displays the work of 20 South African artists.
De Lille said that it was fitting that the exhibition had come to Cape Town because of the history Mandela had with the city.
“He signed our first constitution in Cape Town and made his first speech as president of the country in Parliament. In 1997 we also gave him the freedom of the city.”
She said the exhibition should be a reminder to Capetonians and visitors of Mandela’s role in uniting South Africa and his “gifts” to the country.
“We will never forget him. Everything we see today are gifts from Tata Mandela, which are freedom and dignity.”
One of the highlights of the exhibition is a study by British royal portrait painter Richard Stone.
Stone is famous for having painted every member of the British royal family member since 1970.
The study, for which Mandela modelled, was used as the basis for Stone’s famous portrait of Mandela, which is now in New York.
The study will be auctioned with the proceeds going to the Community and Individual Development Association University in Joburg.
Also on display is a range of gold and silver Nelson Mandela Nobel Prize winner medallions, lent by the South African Gold Coin Exchange. The coins are part of a series that have been made of each Nobel Peace Prize laureate since 1995.
Alan Demby, chairman of the South African Gold Coin Exchange, said the proceeds from the sale of the coins went to charity.
He said royalties from the sale of Mandela and FW de Klerk coins went to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the FW De Klerk Foundation.
The exhibition will run for the month of February at the Clock Tower in the V&A Waterfront and then it will move to an overseas destination. - Cape Argus