Michele Mathison was born in 1977 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and currently lives and works between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
In 2000, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Mathison creates sculptures and installations that investigate issues of migration, labour, cultivation, creation and destruction, reminding us of the violence inherent in colonisation and the exploitation of labour and natural resources. Informed by his own migratory experience, living primarily in South Africa and Zimbabwe, his practice forms a visual language that is both personal and political, by transforming everyday objects into charged artistic declarations.
Recent solo shows include Dissolution, Tyburn Gallery, London, UK (2018), State of Emergence, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa (2017); Uproot, Tyburn Gallery, London, UK (2016); Harvest, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), Scheryn Pavilion, Cape Town, South Africa (2015); Manual, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, South Africa (2014); and Exit/Exile, Nirox Projects, Johannesburg, South Africa (2011).
Selected group exhibitions include Frieze Sculpture, Regent’s Park, London, UK (2018); A Place in Time 2016, NIROX Foundation in collaboration with Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Nirox Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, South Africa (2016); Broken English, Tyburn Gallery, London, UK (2015); You Love Me, You Love Me Not, Municipal Gallery, Almeida Garrett, Portugal (2015); African Odysseys, The Brass Artscape, Brussels, Belgium (2015); and Nirox Sculpture, Nirox Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, South Africa (2014). The artist also participated in Dudziro, the Zimbabwean Pavilion for the 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2013).
In 2017, Mathison created a large-scale public sculpture for the V&A Waterfront on the occasion of the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa. As well as being included in the collection of the Zeitz MOCAA, his work forms part of collections of the Norval Foundation (Cape Town, South Africa), Spier Arts Trust (Cape Town, South Africa), Sindika Dokolo Foundation (Luanda, Angola), ArtColl Trust (Seattle, USA), as well as the Standard Bank Art Collection (Johannesburg, South Africa).