A Tribute: The Story of Freedom by Jacqueline Edwards (UK)

    Jacqueline Edwards

    They called him “the father of the nation.” Nelson Mandela spent his entire life campaigning for freedom and equality for all, not by means of arms or force or threats or hatred, but by dialogue and patience. He spread his message by peaceful means, and implemented new ideas to combat poverty, introduce land reform, develop and expand healthcare and create permanent change to provide justice and equality for all.

    Having spent 27 years of his life imprisoned, on his release he worked tirelessly to promote the idea of one country and one world in harmony. He was a mediator, a tireless charity worker, an ambassador for his nation and subsequently the world, a family teacher and an example to millions. He inspired people around the world to join him and spread a burning desire to fight inequality in all forms. Never once did he suggest that he had lost 27 years of his life: never once did he pity himself. He had work to do and so work he did, endlessly, with grace and integrity, until he was simply unable to continue. The positive changes he left behind are imprinted upon the souls of so many, and make an extraordinary legacy that will last forever.

    For me, his beautiful face, his unconscious elegance, his understated demeanor and gentle tone of voice, his unbelievably selfless work on the international stage, and his extraordinary passion for fairness, truth and peace made him one of a kind; he was an absolute original and the ultimate role model for every one of us across the globe. I loved him and everything he stood for and all that he achieved. I created this piece of artwork out of a deep desire to tell his story in my own way. This is my tribute to Madiba.

    I am an artist and illustrator, specializing in pastel paintings and monochrome studies. I attended Chelsea School of Art in London for a short period, before diversifying, self-taught, initially into the field of Equine Art, where I made my name working with racehorses.

    My works have been exhibited though major sporting galleries in London’s West End and through The Society of Equestrian Artists at Christie’s in London. I have held many private exhibitions at Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood, The Cheltenham Gold Cup, The Derby and other prestigious events on the UK racing calendar.

    Additionally, my work has been exhibited and sold as far afield as the USA, notably to the Thoroughbred Racing Association of America, and to the Middle East and Ireland. It has also been featured in the UK sporting press and various racing publications.

    “Humans and animals alike are creatures of the utmost complexity and each one expresses themselves entirely individually. I am captivated by the dynamism and visual intensity created through the linking of movement, muscular tension and facial expression and aim to resonate with the viewer by interpreting each story with sensitivity, depth and clarity.”

    Through a long-held love of the visual beauty and tactile nature and feel of wood, I have recently added chainsaw carving to my portfolio. I also delve into creative writing and photography.

    “For me personally World Citizen Artists represent everything that Nelson Mandela stood for: attempting to create one united voice. I hope via this truly international platform we collectively will be able to interpret and expand on his work and beliefs. Replicating his message to create lasting change in a way that resonates with ordinary people across the world is a goal I support; linking people through the evocative mediums of art and music to share and enjoy no matter where, no matter who, is one amazing feat!”

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