Jennifer Newman

Jennifer was born in Cape Town in 1961.She moved to London in 1988 and has been living in Oxfordshire since 2001 She has worked internationally on private and corporate commissions and exhibitions since 1992.

Her Great Grandfather, Frederick William Page, has a unique story of travelling in the late 1800’s from England with the British Cavalry enroute to India. Falling in love with Cape Town, he decided not to continue the journey. In 1908 he moved to Robben Island and took up the post of store keeper. He was a big –hearted man as the island had a history as a leper colony, a mental asylum and a small prison. It was a unique place of freedom for these poor souls and in the late 1920’s the whole island was closed down due to the Great Depression and all the people moved off and sadly were institutionalized on the South African mainland.

Her Grandfather Robert William Page was born on Robben Island in 1909. Later her Great Grandfather Hugo Bus who was a carpenter from Rotterdam, and his family moved to the island to work on the Simon’s Town docks as well as the wooden pier on the island.

Jennifer has been “MAPPING” the edge of Robben Island in her paintings since 2009 and in 2014 started to map Mandela. In 2015 she was asked to bring him home to South Africa. A series of paintings of the cartography of Madiba was birthed. He becomes part of the earth of Robben Island as the “resin sea” laps his portraits. The beauty and dramatic shape of Africa is explored. Taking the most powerful animals of Africa and showing their fragility in “Endangered I and II” – the rhino and elephant is linked with the legacy that is so precariously left behind by such a powerful man.

Blenheim Palace

Jen meets Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, Mandela’s eldest daughter, at The Blenheim Palace Literary Festival..