South African artist and art educator, since 2007 Head of Department Arts and Culture Unit at the NMM University. Michael is involved in numerous cultural development projects in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. He supported the Nelson Mandela Arts & Culture Department in the development of a local arts and culture policy and assisted the Department of Sport, Recreation, and Arts & Culture (DSRAC) in the provincial policy development.
Michael studied at the University of Cape Town and completed his Fine Art degree with honours at the well known UCT Michaelis fine art school.
Michael has exhibited extensively throughout the country. When he moved to PE in 1986 he met and exhibited with the likes of George Pemba (the well known artist)
Michael completed his HDE (teachers post degree study) at UCT in 1985 and took up a job of teaching art at St Thomas High school in Port Elizabeth in 1986. Completed Masters ( NMMU) 2012
In 2004-2007 he was the project manager for Create SA Project supporting the entrepreneurial development for craft practioners in Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Free State and the Northern Cape. He held leading positions at different art related institutions and worked previously as a secondary school art teacher. He was the Eastern Cape Coordinator for the Sunday times 100 year heritage project
He participated in various Art exhibitions in the Eastern Cape, International (including the Zabalasa exhibition) and various National exhibitions.
Most recent exhibition includes – Xpressions – a group of well known Metro artists
The works refer to the need to ‘declare’ your racial classification to all government as well non government parastatal organizations such as lotto etc.
The artist is suggestion that this policy should be reviewed or abolished as it forces the citizens of SA to view themselves as separate, unequal and exclusive components within SA society hence the ‘strips’ in the work which also suggest bars which confine and or the ‘body’ of the nation ‘torn’ into several separate pieces.
Public art commissions
The MBDA route 67 project manager and artist for the 1976 art works
The Helenvale (HURP) Tusong centre art works
The Sunday Times 100 year celebration public art work in Queenstown
In a recent exhibition Michael focused on the ‘Arts heritage’ of his community. Those intangible ‘heritages’ that reflect the common collective spirituality of his community. His work ranges from portraits of musicians to religious symbols to interpretations of the spiritual consciousness of the community. Michael believes that art should play a part in developing human senses by interpreting and decoding our daily realities. He states that the artist plays a major role in interpreting how society perceives itself both individually and collectively.
The works currently on exhibition at the NMB Art Museum attempts to reflect the following:
“Skin color. Declaration 1 and 2”
The works attempts to look critically at how South Africans are defined by the colour of their skin. Race Classification was a corner stone of the Apartheid Governments policy. Unfortunately this policy of race classification has been continued into the new South Africa.
Each Government department classifies South African citizens along racial lines viz : Black African / Coloured / White / Asian are the main headings. This, according to the South African government, is there to assist with the policy of redress called affirmative action which should assist with affirming the previously disadvantaged communities in an advantageous economic way.
The works suggest these layers of identity and classification which dissect our society or cut us into several ‘strips’ of identity.