The granite sculpture of Nelson Mandela by artist Jacques Muller is unique.
Firstly it is the only granite sculpture of Mandela in existence.
Granite is an extremely difficult medium to work with and any mistake made during sculpture often means the end of a project.
Jacques says of the sculpture, “I would like to emphasize that this is not an anatomical study of Mr. Nelson Mandela, it is a sculpture. The objective was to immortalize and capture a personality with a sense of emotion and human likeness in raw stone.”
“My aim was to show Madiba as a man, with all the elements of nature, youth, life in general and the inevitable process of transience.”
The material used reflects Madiba’s character and that which he tried to instill in South Africans.
The Iron Wood base is a symbol of growth. Iron Wood is one of the strongest woods in the world, yet as something organic it can still rot or wither if not taken care of. It symbolizes life.
The bronze shirt of Madiba is a metal. If you touch it it seems unbreakable. Yet it can be shaped and molded to become something new and beautiful.
The granite from which Madiba’s head is made is the strongest rock on earth. A sign of a steadfast man with steadfast ideas and principles. A sign of what he wanted South Africa to become.
Jacques further says about the sculpture, “his bronze shirt I wanted to keep simple, almost humble, the shirt is inlaid with fine subtle grey dove feathers that is a metaphor for many aspects of life. The shirt also emphasizes a lot of emotional aspects with the way I finished it, colour, texture and more. The inscription at the bottom right shoulder reads;
A remarkable man who dedicated his life to the democracy and freedom of his people. Jacques Muller 2012 .
This is just a short summary and description, at the end of the day the interpretation and opinion of the world will be subjective.”
"As an artist it is my full and legal right to produce an original and artistic interpretation of Mr. Mandela's image, and should i so wish sell it to any individual or organisation.
Replication or reproduction of this work would transgress Mr. Mandela's intelectual property rights."