Michele Mathison


Contemporary Southern Africa forms an example of a distinct, and new social condition. One in which political and social borders define different political incarnations of African democracy and creates a vast transient community of displaced.

For over a decade, Michele Mathison has been living and working on both sides of the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe. His sculptures are a study on the value of common objects and how they have developed into the prevalent imagery and symbols of the region’s tumultuous times.

By removing the utility from functional objects, Mathison is presenting the irony of their transformation into a symbolic guise. Examining the form and function of quotidian objects, Mathison builds geometric groups and visual fields. Considering how an individual piece relates to the whole, his work creates a narrative of the region’s collective concerns.

Mathison completed his BFA at Michaelis School of Fine Arts, University of Cape Town, South Africa in 2000. He has since had 2 solo exhibitions with WHATIFTHEWORLD, including States of Emergence (2017) and Manual (2014). Other notable solo exhibitions include: Uproot (2016) at Tyburn Gallery, London; Harvest (2015) at the Zeitz MOCAA Scheryn Pavilion, Cape Town and EXIT/EXILE (2014) at Nirox Projects, Johannesburg. His work has featured in group exhibitions such as Broken English (2015) at Tyburn Gallery, London and Dudziro (2013), Zimbabwe Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale, Venice.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018 Dissolution. Tyburn Gallery, London
2017 States of Emergence - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
States of Emergence - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Johannesburg
2016 Uproot, Tyburn Gallery, London
2015 Harvest, Zeitz MOCAA Scheryn Pavilion, Cape Town
2014 Manual - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2011 EXIT/EXILE, Nirox Projects, Johannesburg, South Africa

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018 AKAA Carreau Du Temple, Paris
Frieze Sculpture, Regent's Park, London
2016 Negative Space - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
A Place in Time, Nirox Sculpture Park, Johannesburg
2015 Nirox Sculpture / Winter 2015, Nirox Sculpture Park, Johannesburg
You love me, You love me not, Galeria municipal do Porto, Portugal
Broken English, Tyburn Gallery, London
2014 Zoo, Nirox projects, Johannesburg
Public sculpture, Arts on Main, Johannesburg
Nirox Sculpture / Winter 2014, Nirox Sculpture Park, Johannesburg
2013 Trans-Africa, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg
Dudziro, Zimbabwe Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale
2012 Southern Guild, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
Outside the lines, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2011 EXIT/EXILE, Nirox Projects, Johannesburg
2009 Various, Brodie/Stevenson, Johannesburg
HIFA, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare
2005 Visions of Zimbabwe, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester