Project Description

MANDELA MANDALA

Coloured pencil on paper
450 x 420mm (inner)
810 x 825mm (outer)
1994

As before, and for similar reasons, she dutifully obeyed the conceptual suggestion to create the work of art in coloured pencils.  She has always been fascinated by the names attributed to us at birth and the impact they subsequently have on our lives. Deeply interested in this aspect, she noticed with amusement/amazement how attractively similar MANDELA and MANDALA sounded to the ear on the one hand and to the intellect on the other.
Mandela had rapidly transcended his political role, becoming the beloved of friend and foe alike. It was evident that he was irrevocably part of a new ‘political/spiritual tri-ad’:
Ghandi
Martin Luther King
Nelson Mandela
Isn’t it significant that TWO of these giants herald from South Africa and the other, a descendant from Africa?
A MANDALA, as we observe in the ‘Rose Patterns’ in stained glass windows and the ornamental ‘Floral Patterns’ depicted in Persian carpets as well as the design of the ‘Lotus Flower’ in Eastern and Middle Eastern culture, custom and the decorative arts, depicts ‘something’ radiating from the ‘centre’. However, most remarkable is the fact
that a Mandala must by its very nature, surmount disorder. It is then, the visual, plastic expression of the struggle to achieve order–even within diversity­—and of the longing to be reunited with the centre. Isn’t this is a fitting description of MANdela? This ‘spiritual’, intangible aspect of Madiba, is exactly that X-factor that miraculously bonds us together as human beings, disregarding our differences or peculiarities. It appeals to the ‘basic good’ that underscores and permeates our very essence.
The final portrait, represents Mandela as, and in, the ‘centre’ of a ‘ROSE’. He smiles enigmatically, yet confidently. His eyes are fixed on a spot in the future, the place where he has prophetically visualized his beloved countrymen to be amd at last MANDALA and MANDELA have united ……..
Because we subconsciously believe that ‘things’ will be fine as long as ex(tra) president Mandela is around, we fear a post- Mandela South Africa as he had been the engineer of a great miracle. His name is synonymous with reconciliation and he is our ‘bringer-of –luck’, our ‘lucky charm’, our Talisman ….. ‘talisMANDELA’.

Provenance

2013 November-26 April 2014 Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria
1994 October United Nations Headquarters New York USA.

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