Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 17 years on Robben Island and 27 years in total. He regarded survival in the inhumane conditions he and his fellow inmates experienced there as a triumph of the human spirit. It is a victory he has celebrated in his art where he has been inspired to draw the images which held the greatest meaning for him. The “My Robben Island” series contains the Window, a symbolic view from his cell, the Lighthouse which to him was both a beacon of hope and of oppression, the Church, which is endowed with a spiritual glow, the Harbour where prisoners entered and freedom ended and the Cell where his few possessions are highlighted. In his Motivation with its universal message he states his philosophy and how he faced and overcame the challenges forced upon him by the brutality of the system of apartheid. His talent also shows in his series of hands which are symbolic of the struggle and  depict with skill how his country broke the shackles of tyranny and achieved its freedom.
Nelson Mandela’s right hand, Hand of Africa, has become an iconic symbol internationally. The palm has a remarkable resemblance to the shape of the continent of Africa as though he holds his beloved country in his hand.