Miniature Artist ABE MATHEBE – Biography
I was born in an informal settlement called Pimville, Soweto in 1959. My earliest memories of artmaking were realized during my childhood stage. I remember gathering clay from the riverbank on our way back from a farming area where we would be sent to buy eggs and milk for the household.
As a child I also wished to have toys to play with but most unfortunately my parents could not afford such, therefore I learnt to create my own toys by using different materials which were at my disposal. I created toys using images of farm equipment seen such as tractors, ploughs and the farm animals – cattle, goat and sheep. My play mates and I created kites from sticks and paper to fly on a windy day.
As a teenager I learnt how to further channel my creative energies into Ballroom and Latin American dancing. I also developed a love for guitar playing and studied music theory for two years.
My creating of art journey, started with free lessons offered by the late Durant Sihlali, a renowned water colourist at our local community centre. This experience ignited my wanting to obtain formal art training. This opportunity came for me to study at the Johannesburg Art Foundation and here I qualified as a Graphic Designer, sponsored kindly by Nedbank. The second art education institution I attended was Artist Proof Studio, where I learnt how to make prints and papermaking.
Currently I am a member of the Miniature Art Society of South Africa. I exhibit locally and internationally and have had more than one opportunity to travel abroad, i.e. Australia, Russia, USA, United Kingdom, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada and closer to home Swaziland and Botswana.
Highlights of my career include murals created and installed at the Raphael Hotel in Sandton which won a Business and Arts Award for the best murals created. These murals are still there as a permanent installation. I hosted a public drawing workshop in Ferrara, Italy, during the Miniature World Show in Burnie, Tasmania I demonstrated my art techniques to a wide audience and I won a Nedbank Greeting Card sponsored design competition to design the best greeting card.
There are two new art forms which I am challenging myself with – colour work and sculpture. My intention is to continually grow and refine my art talent.
15 August 2019