The Robben Island series was sketched and completed by Nelson Mandela between March and June of 2003
We currently have six limited edition prints of charcoal sketches. Nelson Mandela found these deeply meaningful during the period of his incarceration on the island.
Nelson Mandela Art
at Art Curator Gallery
Original Lithographs by Nelson Mandela:
“My Robben Island Series”
Limited Edition Series XVI/XXX HC
After this edition, they made a series of 500 limited edition prints, which were smaller in size.
The sketches were executed in simple black charcoal lines with selected elements highlighted in pure pastel colours—the symbolism behind Nelson Mandela’s choice in line. Also, colour and composition are significant. Furthermore, colour has substantial symbolic value in African culture. Therefore, this and the simple use of line play a dominant role in all the drawings.
Below you will see “My Robben Island Series 1”, which consists of “the Cell, the Window, the Artists Motivation, all in portrait format, measure 650mm x 500mm. “The Lighthouse, The Church, and The Harbour” are in landscape format.
Michaelis School of fine art, the University of Cape Town by Prof. Stephen Inngs and Tamarind Master Printer Ernestine White, supervised the processing, proofing and printing of the series with the assistance of Russel Jones. All the printing materials and plates were destroyed on completion of the printing of the lithographs.
A refuge for the prisoners of Robben Island. The Church was an encouraging anchor in the often troubled times of imprisonment.
This is a symbolic representation of Table Mountain from Nelson Mandela’s prison window. The mountain was not visible from any cell window. Instead, the piece symbolises Mandela’s longing for freedom and beauty.
The Lighthouse kept all ships away from the dangerous rock shelves which surround Robben Island. But, it was a constant reminder of where they were and how impossible escape was to the prisoners.
This was Mandela’s ‘home’ for 27 years. He had a few meagre possessions emphasised in colour. These included letters and photographs from family and friends. They were of substantial emotional value to prisoners.
The only contact with the outside world came via the harbour. Letters and news came from those on board the ships, and the prisoners received scraps of information that buoyed their hearts.
Through the eloquent words of Nelson Mandela, there is an insight into the life he led while in prison. A part of the Motivation reads, “In these sketches… I have attempted to colour the Island sketches in ways that reflect the festive light in which I view it.”
Valued at R1.2 million for the set – This edition is no longer available on the market.
Email email@example.com to inquire.
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