To honour Mandela Day celebrations on Sunday 18 July, we collaborated with artist John Meyer and Everard Read/Circa gallery to facilitate a virtual tour of Meyer’s poignantly magnificent exhibition – Mandela: A Life’s Journey.

We feel privileged to be involved in giving our clients, staff and country access to this collection of sixteen important works that contribute towards telling the story of Madiba. We believe it showcases the limitless possibilities of art as an enabler of learning, debate and social transformation.

Meyer’s reputation as South Africa’s most renowned realist painter is unimpeachable. He has exhibited all over the world, and is regarded as a modern–day ‘court painter’; commissioned to paint many official subjects and occasion works internationally. His immaculately composed painted narratives exhibit the vignette and cinematic form he has favoured more recently, in the grand historical narratives his canvases depict.

His impactful work for this landmark exhibition bears all the hallmarks of being skilled in the painterly photorealism for which his work is celebrated. Most importantly, it celebrates the life and major turning points in the career of the most important statesman that South Africa, and perhaps the world, has ever seen.

Meyer says he sees his work much like the cinematographer of a major film would – as a series of opportunities to frame people, incidents and contexts at crucial moments in time. This cinematographic approach is beautifully realised in the sixteen canvases which comprise the Mandela exhibition.

Originally shown in the oval space of the Circa gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg, this body of work has the circularity of a biographical journey; starting and ending in the same place – Mandela’s homeland in the Eastern Cape.

RMB is a leading African Corporate and Investment Bank.

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