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. Mathison (b. 1977) currently lives and works on both sides of the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe. His sculptures are a study on the value of familiar objects and how they have developed into the prevalent imagery and symbols of sub-Saharan Africa's post-independent condition. By removing the utility from everyday tools and decaying urban infrastructure, Mathison presents the irony of their transformation into symbolic guises. 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. Themes in his work, such as the migration of people and natural resources, represent both the personal and political.