Mandela’s life captured in art

CELEBRATION: Numerous guests celebrate and enjoy a private viewing of an art collection titled Mandela: A Life's Journey.

The inspirational life of the late Nelson Mandela, a beloved South African icon, forms the basis of an extraordinary art collection at Circa on Jellicoe.

One of Johannesburg’s most exciting urban art galleries, Circa on Jellicoe, was privileged to host a single private viewing of this collection, namely John Meyer’s Mandela: A Life’s Journey.

In support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, guests were able to enjoy these powerful and thought-provoking artworks before they embark on an international tour which will include some of the artistic capitals of the world.

The series is on loan from a private collection owned by Andrew Dunn, chief executive officer of Richmark Holdings, and each of the 16 pieces are works in acrylic and sand on canvas. Dunn commissioned the series from renowned South African artist John Meyer, whom he considers to be one of South Africa’s greatest living artists.

Read: A masterpiece to celebrate Mandela

The series took three years to complete and the result is a heartwarming and descriptive look at Madiba’s life.

Dunn said, “John is a living legend who has painted for the Queen of England, Paul Allen of Microsoft and many more world-renowned [people] and business leaders. Thus, choosing him to help fulfil my dream of owning a collection based on the life of Nelson Mandela was an easy decision.”

For Meyer, Nelson Mandela’s rare and universal influence challenged him to raise his game and reach new levels artistically. He explained, “I want to explore the private world of people’s lives, the enigmatic unexplained and hidden emotions.”

Having met Mandela on several occasions, Meyer has always been struck by his saintliness. He did, however, try to avoid politics in the series, aiming to rather capture Mandela’s humanity.

Mark Read, owner of Circa, added that the gallery has curated some of the most intellectually stimulating exhibitions to be shown in contemporary South Africa. For him, the showing of this collection was a great honour. “This very tantalising brief showing of 16 miraculous paintings is the story of our continent’s greatest human icon painted by the best realist of his generation. What gallery wouldn’t be proud to show that?”

Now on its way to the rest of the world, the art collection seeks to inform and remind people of the hero that he was.

Comment on the story on the City Buzz Facebook page and let us know what you remember most about Nelson Mandela.

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