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Images of Mandela

My first meeting with Mandela was in 1993 when he arrived unexpectedly in the Natalie Knight Gallery in Hyde Park while I was in the middle of a photographic shoot. The future President was wearing his broad, friendly smile and a casual sweatshirt with the words “The Music Talks”. I showed him a pastel drawing by the artist Tommy Motswai which was on the wall. It was a depicition of the historic handshake between President FW de Klerk and Mandela after his release from prison. My photographer, Berna Jersich asked if Mr Mandela would please shake hands with me in front of the drawing. He obliged and also shook hands with the other 15 members of my staff. His bodyguards were getting restless and possessive but Madiba brushed them aside. We were all entranced by the presence of this stately figure and his warmth and kindness to everyone he met.

The photograph with Madiba and me was published in the Sunday Times on October 10, 1993. Then to my great amazement it was sourced from there to Germany where it was published in Der Spiegel. The reason for this was the rumour, which proved to be correct, that Mandela and de Klerk were being jointly nominated for the Nobel Peace prize and Der Spiegel scooped the news by using this available picture.

The photograph later became the source material of a beaded artwork made by Jane Makhubele.

After the opening of Mandela@90 at the Constitutional Court, Mandela invited me and some of the other artists on the exhibition to visit him in his Houghton office.

The Mandela art shows that I have curated include:

October 2013
We love Mandela: Art inspired by Madiba
South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London, including a live interview with the BBC.

December 2014
We love Mandela: In Memoriam.
Nelson Mandela Square. Sandton, South Africa.

May 2015
Images of Mandela honours Nelson Mandela.
Opening session of the IWF Conference at Summer Place,
Johannesburg, South Africa.