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Poignant, precious, profound: Legacy Collection offers handmade pieces that are a striking token of justice, equality, forgiveness and freedom.
Hand-crafted and encased in precious metal, every Legacy Collection piece – from dazzling jewellery to iconic art – is created from the original fence of South Africa’s Robben Island prison, the notorious Cape Town Island prison that housed freedom fighters including Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada, Walter Sisulu and many more during South Africa’s oppressive apartheid years.
The founding artist of Legacy Collection, Charmaine Taylor, witnessed the injustice of apartheid as a young girl as well as the incredible transformation of her country, beginning with the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990. And she has always loved Nelson Mandela and the way he took power of South Africa peacefully.
Charmaine’s main aim as an artist is to raise awareness for environmental and human rights concerns globally. She has always been proudly South African and passionate about creating local jobs and run her own creative businesses for 15 years.
Impassioned to assist in promoting the message of forgiveness exemplified by Nelson Mandela, she realised her dream in 2012 when she partnered with Chris Swift, the founder of the Robben Island Art Company & Trust (RIACT), a social enterprise creating sustainable employment.
Chris had rescued the original Robben Island fence from the landfill while the island was being renovated in 2009 and shared Charmaine’s belief that the fence, through art, could become a striking emblem for South Africa’s incredible metamorphosis. Thus, Legacy Collection has the exclusive rights to create jewellery from the Robben Island fence through RIACT.