Remembering Madiba’s shirt.

Remembering Madiba’s shirt.

It is common for people to hold onto items of clothing of loved ones who have passed. In Port Elizabeth, art students at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University have taken this a step further by creating and erecting their own version of that special piece of clothing that will be a permanent reminder of our beloved Nelson Mandela. Their sculpture is called “The Madiba Shirt” and is comfortably perched in the Beyers Naudé Garden of Contemplation at the university. The sculpture is intended to be a constant and inspirational reminder of the values of NMMU and Madiba. The Madiba Shirt is the first phase of a public art project at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The metal frame of the Madiba Shirt has an intricate wirework that suspends individually made ceramic tiles. Letters on the the tiles spell words: ubuntu, unity, diversity, integrity, excellence. Shirt dimensions:- 3m height, 2.2m width and 1.4m depth.

A large shirt for a large man.

The sculpture was conceived by artists Mary Duker and Bianca Whitehead of the Art department of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University with the support from NMMU Arts and Culture.  Jonathan van der Walt managed the design, production and installation of the aluminium wire element of the project. The frame was constructed by Roland Luders and his team at R & R Aesthetics, Bianca Whitehead and the ceramic students made and installed the ceramics, The Wire Team consisted of Amos Ragophala, Michelle D’Urbano, Isso Jafta, Sarel Venter and Jonathan van der Walt.  The sculpture was unveiled in October 2015.      Info taken from:-https://www.facebook.com/jonathanvdwaltartist/

The Madiba Shirt Story:-

The Madiba Shirt was a creation for Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, the first to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. In 1994, the designer Desre Buirski gave a gift of a hand-printed batik shirt to Nelson Mandela’s body guard, with a note saying “Thank you for everything you have done and the sacrifices you have made for our beloved country”. Mr. Mandela wore the shirt the next day to the dress rehearsal for the opening of Parliament and was photographed on the front page of a local newspaper. Desre Buirski subsequently designed many printed, embroidered and over 150 hand-painted silk shirts for South Africa’s beloved Madiba, which he wore on the world stage, becoming a global style as well as political icon. The style of ‘The Madiba Shirt’ evolved as Mr. Mandela requested various shirts throughout his time as President.

Taken from:http://www.presidential.co.za/brands/presidential-shirt/madiba-shirt-story.html

a close up of the ceramic tiles

A close up of the ceramic tiles

The base of the madiba shirt sculpture

The base of The Madiba Shirt sculpture

Madiba Shirt at nmmu

Madiba Shirt at NMMU

back view of madiba shirt sculpture

Back view of Madiba Shirt sculpture

the madiba shirt sculpture aptly expresses the stature of mandela

The Madiba Shirt sculpture aptly expresses the stature of Mandela

 

 

 

 

Jonathan van der Walt and team

Jonathan van der Walt and team

Comments

  1. Could we have a picture of a person next to it, to get an idea of the scale?

    • Thank you for your interest Janet. The dimensions of the Madiba Shirt are:-3m height, 2.2m width and 1.4m depth. I will find a photo with people next to the shirt to give you idea of scale, I will insert it into the post.