Mandela ‘Madiba 95’

Mandela ‘Madiba 95’

Mandela ‘Madiba 95’


Mandela ‘Madiba 95’

Smalti, glass and wooden beads, buttons, millefiori, textiles and stained glass on MDF, 42 x 60 inch, 2013

The brief was to create a mosaic that would reflect Mandela’s life, before and after he was released from prison. I found this particular commission to be one of the most challenging. I needed to do a lot of research about his life, where he grew up, his passions, the origins of the tribe he descended from and all the greatness he achieved before his 95th birthday and his sad passing.

I decided to create two illustrations of South Africa side by side. One for the times before and during his incarceration and the other for post prison release to help convey the dramatic and important changes affecting the country since the change to democracy and ultimately when he was elected President. I felt it was important and indeed only natural to include as many rich and vibrant colours as possible and to add traditional textures and patterns that would represent his life and heritage in Africa.

The Mandela mosaic was presented to his wife Graca Machel and members of his family at a ceremony in December 2013 held at the Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre of Memory in Johannesburg and indeed where the original mosaic is kept today as one of the official exhibits at the Foundation to invited guests to see and enjoy.

As Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation comments ‘ We were especially blessed and grateful to receive such a wonderful and fitting tribute to Madiba in the form of such a special and unique mosaic created by Miss Wise, which we are proud to home here at the Centre of Memory. It is particularly welcomed by our younger visitors and children whom ask many questions about the various elements within the piece which is always very pleasing to see!’





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