Project Description


coloured pencil on paper
285 x 265mm (inner)
700 x 675mm (outer)
1994 (August)

The ‘Intellectual/Cerebral’ portrait did not completely satisfy her need to portray the complexity of MAN (dela). Subsequently she felt an urge to conceive and portray, yet another aspect of him: ‘the emotional’ portrait titled: ‘God Bless Madiba’.

Everyone expressed concern regarding the safety and wellbeing of beloved ‘Madiba’ and  cringed in empathy as we observed the increasing discomfort he experienced when climbing steps, walking and getting up from a seat.  Not being blind to the fact that the world is filled with fanatics and one could not help but entertain the fear that he could be ‘removed’ from our presence as magically as he appeared! There were also concerns surrounding problems with his eyes, and we also show respect for his seniority. 27 Years took a great chunk out of his life!

All of these issues compact and crystallize into ONE deep emotion: CARE. We care enough to want to protect him at all times, against all foes. Who could do this better? We humbly ask God to protect this MAN from harm and to bless him………’God Bless Madiba’.

Because the name ‘Madiba’ is used in a very loving way and we use our hands to caress and protect the vulnerable, she conceived the imagery of ‘God Bless Madiba’ as follows: Madiba is surrounded and ‘protected’ by two giant cupped hands. The artwork is executed in coloured pencil, a very gentle and translucent medium if applied sensitively. Her subject usually dictates the medium in which it would like to make itself visible and this is a perfect example of her honest response. She virtually ‘caresses’ the paper when she applies the pencil strokes, the delicate movements of her hand hardly visible as she takes care not to ‘disturb’ her subject. When using this medium, the white paper left uncovered, becomes as important as the parts that are. This technique was used to great advantage to suggest some shimmering light or ‘halo’ surrounding him, by simply leaving the area directly around his head, untouched. ‘God Bless Madiba’ succeeds as a highly emotive portrait.


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

2013 November 2013 ‘Beautiful and profound’ (Yvette Weyers, SA artist)