Manual by Michele Mathison

Manual by Michele Mathison

From October 8 to 15, WHATIFTHEWORLD will present Manual a new exhibition of sculpture by Zimbabwean artist Michele Mathison.

Mathison works are strongly influenced by over a decade of living and working on both sides of the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe near the hostels and informal communities occupied by large numbers of his fellow countrymen, economic refugees from a struggling revolution. The artist is fascinated by physical work, of manual labour.

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His sculptures revolve around the study on the value of everyday objects and how they have developed into the predominant metaphors and representations of the districts agitated times. The works become tributes to a fresh insight of both the brutality and integrity of labour. A hybrid of Constructivism’s notions and Futurism’s repetitious movement, works become a profusion of forms and gestures, a distilled concentration of frantic movements from all directions culminating in a single point.

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, the work creates a narrative of the district’s collective concerns.


Oliver Enwonwu is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Omenka magazine, Director, Omenka Gallery and Chief Executive, Revilo. He holds a first degree in Biochemistry, advanced diploma in Exploration Geophysics (distinction), Post Graduate Diplomas in Applied Geophysics and Visual Art (distinction) and a Masters in Art History, all from the University of Lagos. He is the founder, Executive Director, and trustee of The Ben Enwonwu Foundation. He also sits on the board of several organizations including the National Gallery of Art, Nigeria and the Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria. Enwonwu is also president of both the Society of Nigerian Artists and the Alliance of Nigerian Art Galleries.

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