Michele Mathison creates sculptures and installations that investigate issues of migration, labour, cultivation, creation and destruction, exposing the violence inherent in processes of colonisation and exploitation of labour and natural resources. Steel maize plants, ceramic jerry cans and concrete chainsaws become symbols for the difficulties of surviving through subsistence in difficult economic conditions; a large ring made from wooden AK-47s evokes the idea of political revolution and its self-perpetuating cycle of domination. With his series Chapungu, Shiri yedenga (sky bird) Mathison also refers to Zimbabwean history and the brutal uprooting of cultural heritage.
Mathison presented his first UK solo exhibition in 2016, at Tyburn Gallery, London. He has previously shown his work in Belgium, Portugal, and South Africa, amongst others. He was featured in Dudziro, Zimbabwe Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale, Venice (2013). His work is included in the collection of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA).