18 JULY 2018

WeTransfer shows never-before-seen artworks from Nelson Mandela

To celebrate the 100 year birthday of Nelson Mandela, WeTransfer presents an exclusive exhibition of his art alongside an interview with daughter Dr Makaziwe Mandela.

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Photo: Grant Warren

JULY 18, 2018: To celebrate the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela, WeTransfer presents an exclusive exhibition of his artwork. In the years after Nelson Mandela stepped down as South Africa’s president, he decided to step out of his comfort zone and turn some of his memories into artwork. From 2002 to 2003, using charcoal and pastels, he created drawings of Robben Island and Qunu - the village where he was born and laid to rest.

WeTransfer and The House of Mandela Art are now looking to showcase this side of him that has never-before been shared with the wider public.

Alongside an exclusive interview with Dr Makaziwe Mandela, Nelson Mandela's eldest daughter, WeTransfer will feature two series of sketches on its content platform WePresent:

  • Homeland: A collection of 13 sketches made by Nelson Mandela inspired by the memories of where he grew up including his motivation behind the series. This will be the first time the full collection is shown.
  • Unity: A series consisting of work by artists from all over the world interpreting sketches from Nelson Mandela’s series ‘Struggles’. These artists are Lene Pienaar (ZA), Shen Jiawei (CN), Anna Bella Geiger (BR), Charlie Mackesy (GB), Thornton Dial (US) & Gabrielle Pool (NZ).

Rob Alderson, WeTransfer’s VP of Content, commented:

“At WeTransfer we believe that all sorts of creative minds change the world, and few changed it as much as Nelson Mandela. These never-before-seen works give us a new insight into one of the defining figures of the 20th Century, and how he saw the world. We are honored to celebrate his centenary with this project and bring these simple, but fascinating sketches to the world.”

House of Mandela Art commented on the release of the Homeland Series:

"The House of Mandela has retained numerous original works by Nelson Mandela. We decided to release the Homeland pieces at this time of his 100th birthday because we feel that they are a personal reflection of the place of his birth. From the rolling hills of Qunu to the meandering Mbashe River the images capture the essence of his Homeland, the place of his birth and the place where he rests today."

The House of Mandela Art will also be offering everyone a chance to buy a digital version of the Nelson Mandela sketch “Unity” for $10. Each person who purchases the work will receive a written thank you note from Dr Makaziwe Mandela and a hi-res image of the work as a WeTransfer download. Proceeds from the sale will go to the memorial garden of Nelson Mandela & Qunu Feeding Program.

The full interview and all the sketches can be found here: we.tl/nelson-mandela. Furthermore, WeTransfer will be dedicating exclusive wallpaper inventory on WeTransfer.com to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s centennial and share his artwork with the platform’s more than 40 million monthly active users.

Sketches for press use

All sketches must be captioned and credited, only to be used in the context of this press release.

Note to editor

For more information or interview requests please contact Søren Nielsen, soren@wetransfer.com

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About WeTransfer

WeTransfer makes tools to move ideas. Founded in 2009 in Amsterdam as a simple, well-designed file sharing service for the creative community, WeTransfer has grown to include tools that scale across the creative spectrum, including editorial platform WePresent (with 3M monthly readers), mobile app 'Collect by WeTransfer' (with 4M monthly users), quick slide-making tool Paste® (with 40,000 active teams), immersive sketching tool Paper® (with more than 30M downloads), and the original web platform with 60M monthly users and over a billion files sent each month.

From the beginning, WeTransfer has prioritized bringing “offline” values - trust, transparency, and ethics - online. This means having a responsible data policy and tools that don’t distract people from their creative flow. WeTransfer has pioneered a new means of online advertising, resulting in the platform’s full-page wallpapers, designed by our award-winning in-house creative studio. Advertisers include industry-leading brands like Apple, Saint Laurent, Google, Balenciaga, Samsung, Netflix, Adidas, and Squarespace.

Since its founding, WeTransfer has proudly supported the creative communities and given up to 30% of advertising space to support the arts, donating over 5 billion impressions in 2017. Through our ongoing advertising grant program and content platform, WePresent, we have partnered with hundreds of groundbreaking artists and organizations, including Björk, King Krule, FKA twigs, Ryan McGinley, Ami Vitale, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the UN Development Program, the World Wildlife Foundation and the Prince Estate. In 2016, WeTransfer launched the world’s first free Masters of the Arts in design thinking with the University of the Underground and Worldwide FM, the global radio station run by legendary BBC DJ Gilles Peterson.

Following a $25 million investment from Highland Europe in 2015, WeTransfer opened a US office in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, to add to the Amsterdam headquarters. In 2018, WeTransfer acquired popular creative apps Paper® and Paste® and expanded its US presence to New York City.

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