Mandela’s 100 exhibition proceeds despite hiccup

All smiles as Prof. Pitika Ntuli hands over a copy of his own work in writing to former president Kgalema Motlanthe. Photo: Naidine Sibanda

 

In honouring the spirit of late stalwart Nelson Mandela artists and art lovers celebrated through an exhibition of artworks at the Melrose Art Gallery.

The works of established and emerging artists who remain inspired by the late former president were put on display at the Mandela 100 exhibition. Director at the gallery Craig Mark rendered apologies to the audience for the main event sculpture by poet and artist, Professor Pitika Ntuli which would no longer be unveiled.

Assistant artist of the Mandela Smile painting, Jennifer Saunders appreciates art done in honour of Madiba.

Poet and artist Prof. Pitika Ntuli signs a copy of his book called Pitika Ntuli. Photo: Naidine Sibanda

Art is the word for politician Kgalema Motlanthe, curator Zanele Mashumi and artist Prof. Pitika Ntuli. Photo: Naidine Sibanda

He said the 4.3m Mandela sculpture called Provocation to reconciliation had undergone slight damage during collection and being ferried over to the venue.

However, the audience was given the green light to mix and mingle with the likes of founder of Mashumi Art Projects and curator of the exhibition, Zanele Mashumi. Mark said Mashumi expressed the exhibition as a celebration of Mandela’s birthday. “It’s a joyous, inspiring affair, and Zanele has managed to pull that off, as have the artists who were selected because they remain inspired by Nelson Mandela.”

The audience also listened to a poem titled For Madiba by Antoinette Ntuli.

The second poem was read by Prof. Pitika Ntuli and he said it had been presented at Mandela’s funeral by his grandchildren. He also acknowledged the presence of former president Kgalema Motlanthe and said the exhibition captured the very spirit that Madiba was. “The creativity that has been assembled around here is very unique in itself. The visual language in our country is very spectacular.”

Bloggers Vusi Gold and Vuyiso Tshabalala have an inspiring time viewing art pieces inspired by Madiba.

Boschendal Brand Ambassadors, Jackie Retief and Thembi Ndwandwe have a sip at the Mandela 100 Exhibition. Photos: Naidine Sibanda

An assistant to artist Paul Blankamp, Jennifer Saunders who helped with the painting of Madiba the smile said, “There is absolutely no better tribute to Mandela than having him on canvas.”

Mark then proceeded to thank the Nelson Mandela Foundation for their contribution in making the event possible. He also thanked the whole team that had put their efforts into making everything come together and then said the attendees would be invited for another exhibition of the Mandela sculpture as soon as it had been fixed.

Details: Melrose Art Gallery www.themelrosegallery.co.za

Tweet your comments to @RK_Gazette

Related articles:

Melrose Arch to host SculptX and Mpumalanga Traditional Art Market in September

Exhibition of portraits and figures at Gallery on 6th

  AUTHOR
Naidine Sibanda

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