Artist paints tribute to Mr. Nelson Mandela

Accomplished South African artist Salli van Druten took it upon herself to create a project named ‘Thanks for the Colour’ and painted the faces of 95 Nelson Mandela supporters and published their images in a book.
She then presented a copy of the finished book to Mr. Mandela as a gift for his 95th birthday on July 18, 2013.
All proceeds from the sale of copies of the book will go to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, in South Africa.

Salli van Druten at work on the "Thanks for the Colour" project.
Salli van Druten at work on the “Thanks for the Colour” project, where she painted portraits of 95 Mr. Nelson Mandela supporters. All proceeds from the book sales will go to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. All images are copyrighted by the artist.

Like many others, Salli believes that South Africa’s peaceful transformation from Apartheid to Democracy, and the absence of a civil war, was nothing short of a miracle.

Salli van Druten; “We moved from looking at our world in Black and White to a country exploding with colour. The role that Nelson Mandela played in this miracle, the humility and composure he showed when many around him were losing their heads, elevated him to the role of modern-day Saint.”

Salli wanted to thank Nelson Mandela for what he has done for her country and for the example he has set for the world. Painting portraits are her passion and the use of bold, bright colours seemed to fit the South African “Rainbow Nation” perfectly. What better way to celebrate Madiba’s 95th birthday than to paint 95 portraits of ordinary people in 95 days. Salli set herself the challenge with other people from around the world who feel the same way about Nelson Mandela.

She started a social media campaign and collected faces of 95 people together with their personal messages to Mandela, from 30 countries around the globe, to thank him in a personal way for the rich cultural understanding he has added to our modern civilisation.

She managed to complete all 95 paintings in the nick of time — just a week before Madiba’s birthday. The individual messages of appreciation with the portraits were then published in a book that Salli delivered to the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Tata Madiba’s (Nelson Mandela) 95th Birthday, on 18 July 2013.

Thanks for the Colour! Book and portraits by artist Salli van Druten. Proceeds from the sales will go to the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in South Africa.
Thanks for the Colour! — By renowned South African artist Salli van Druten. I was pleased and honoured to be one of the people chosen for Salli’s great work. My image and comment appears on the left page in this image. All images are copyrighted by the artist.
Collage of the 95 faces chosen by the artist. All images copyrighted by the artist.
Collage of the 95 faces chosen by the artist. All images copyrighted by the artist.
Book-Covers
The completed book by artist Salli van Druten. All images are copyrighted by the artist.