Mandela: His life’s journey showcased


The inspirational life of Nelson Mandela forms the basis for an extraordinary art collection that showcases the story of the deeply beloved South African icon.

Circa on Jellicoe, one of Johannesburg’s most exciting urban art galleries, was privileged to host a single private viewing of this collection, John Meyer’s Mandela: A Life’s Journey. The viewing was held on the 23 February in support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The series is on loan from a private collection owned by Andrew Dunn, CEO of Richmark Holdings, and each of the 16 pieces are works in acrylic and sand on canvas. Dunn commissioned the series from renowned South African artist Meyer, whom he considers to be one of South Africa’s greatest artists.

The series took three years to complete and the result was a heart-warming and descriptive look at Madiba’s life. “John is a living legend who has painted for the Queen of England, Paul Allen of Microsoft and many more world and business leaders. Thus, choosing him to help fulfill my dream was an easy decision,” said Dunn.

Meyer said, “I want to explore the private world of people’s lives, the enigmatic unexplained and hidden emotions.”

Having met Mandela on several occasions, Meyer had always been struck by his saintliness and the fact that he has served as a rallying point for all the world’s dispossessed. He did, however, try to avoid politics in the series, aiming rather to capture Mandela’s humanity.

Mark Read, owner of Circa, noted that the gallery had curated some of the most intellectually stimulating exhibitions to be shown in contemporary South Africa. “At Circa, we seek to hold exhibitions that cause people to think about our wonderful country, to question its past and ponder about the future that lies ahead,” said Read.

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