Madiba’s Blu-Era art exhibition at Artscape

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Artist Dr Willa Boezak with images from his Mandela's Blu-Era Portfolio of 12 works, Watercolours on paper
Artist Dr Willa Boezak with images from his Mandela’s Blu-Era Portfolio of 12 works, Watercolours on paper

A portfolio of 12 works by artist Dr Willa Boezak can be seen at Artscape New Box Office Foyer from 5 December 2014 to 11 January 2015.

Commemorating the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death, Artscape is honoured to be able to launch a new series of art works by Dr Willa Boezak on Friday 5 December 2014. This unique exhibition reflects the most turbulent years of Mandela’s life and will be on show in the Artscape New Box Office Foyer until 11 January 2015. Viewing hours are daily Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm. Entrance is free.

A chronological series of 12, in shades of blue, the Portfolio of works depict a number of prominent jazz/blues artists who symbolically express Madiba’s mood at significant stages of his life over a period of 67 years. The collection is available to purchase.

Familiar phrases such as ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘I’ve got the blues’, Dr Willa Boezak refers to the 18th and 19th centuries when African slaves in North America expressed their feelings of frustration through music. Religious lamentations were called ‘Negro Spirituals’ and the more secular sounds became known as ‘Jazz’ and ‘Rock ‘n Roll.

‘The specific musical mode to express anguish, tribulation and struggle was called ‘The Blues’. That is why I chose this particular colour and musical genre to capture the essence of my compositions. Each musician interprets Madiba’s particular mood during his long walk to freedom.’

After not painting for several years Dr Boezak was encouraged to pick up his brush again and work towards an exhibition at Artscape. Over the years most of his paintings were bought or commissioned by private collectors. It took 2013 to complete the Blu-Era Series, not knowing that his subject would pass away at the end of that year.

Madiba’s Blu-Era exhibition commemorates and celebrates the road to freedom and the global legacy that Nelson Mandela left as an embodiment of peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Artscape is privileged to showcase these works as each painting records an important time in the life of Mandela and history of South Africa. They will continue to remind us of the great man of our nation whose memory and teachings will be with us forever.

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