Nelson Mandela is known around the world for his work in South Africa and his leadership, but when looking at Mandela’s legacy, it is important not to overlook his sketches and artistic works. He began this project with the aim of establishing funds for his charities.
The Belgravia Gallery, based in London’s Mayfair, acts as the official UK liaison for Mandela’s artworks and the pieces can be seen on show today. Many of which are based on his time on Robben Island, the place of his captivity, and reflect his struggles through bright and engaging symbols. In order to create these pieces, Mandela personally returned to the island with a photographer to revisit the scene.
Although there have been disputes over the authenticity of these works, there are countless videos of Mandela personally signing the lithographs and they have a very close relationship with his family.
While Mandela is now gone, the legacy the freedom fighter has left behind still strongly prevails. Yet, there was also another side to him – an artistic side- that enabled him to reflect upon his life through a therapeutic medium in order to do what he did best: give back to the world.