South-African based Zimbabwean artist, Michele Mathison, is currently on show at the 2018 Edition of Frieze Sculpture, at Regent’s Park English Gardens, London.
Frieze Sculpture is a precursor to the esteemed Frieze Masters Exhibition which is set to take place in October of this year. As such, Mathison has been invited; in observance of his aptitude, in this outset to the Master’s event, to exhibit in one of the disciplinarily focused shows.
Mathison’s sculptures espouse the environment in which they occupy negative space in a fully bodied manner. From his exhibition of work at the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2015; Mathison has increased on his body of work with charged content that varies from agrarian themes to mechanically engrossing compositions, laden with context relating to the Zimbabwean experience.
Contour is prevalent as each part of the multiplicity of each sculpture is drawn to unison by an adept understanding of balance.
The linearity of objects is inhibited with a tact that is limitlessly ascribed to the former, the cynosure of the Frieze Sculpture showing being his work entitled Parallax; a testament to taking the trivial and creating a somewhat expressive form out of the found material, in this case, a sextet of discarded street lamps extended over each other, the mass of the objects being well distributed to achieve stance.
The boundary for the form is conclusively, the plush green around it, a contrast of its out of place nature as an inorganic creation blends in with the organic, which boosts its relative plasticity as the eye views it.
Frieze Sculpture, as part of Frieze London, is one of the world’s most influential art fairs and, as such, attracts multitudes of buyers, collectors and critics to the exhibition space mentioned earlier on. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) had the opportunity to catch up with Mathison (MM) to discuss his insights on being selected for this dominant showcase for contemporary art.
NGZ : You have been selected for the 2018 edition of Frieze Sculpture, what does this represent with regards your practice?
MM: This invitation to exhibit at Frieze sculpture in London is a rare opportunity to show my work with a group of artists from around the world at the forefront of contemporary public sculpture. The Frieze platform attracts the global art community and this show will be seen by a very large audience.
NGZ: Your work draws inspiration from Hararian and Johannesburg infrastructure; how does the use of trivial visual cues fare in you sculptural practice?
MM: A large part of my visual cues come from observing the urban environment around me. Infrastructure has always held a kind of socio political weight. Whether things are being built or falling apart, there is a representation of the state of affairs.
NGZ: With regards, to Public Sculpture, what interaction do you create for discourse to be generated by your artworks?
MM: By using recognisable objects and materials in my sculpture I think that audiences have their own relationship to the works
NGZ: What effect does the afropolitan narrative on your practice?
MM: I am excited to be exporting symbols of southern African life to Europe, a kind of migration of sorts.