Touching on themes of brutality, violence, political and economic unrest as well as representations of Africans in contemporary culture, Pierre Mukeba's potent and unique voice stirs emotion, weaving stories of the African diaspora, the refugee crisis, displacement and trauma from war into the fabric of Australia.
Pierre Mukeba’s first drawings and paintings were made on bed sheets from a small table in his bedroom. Exploring varied drawing techniques with brush pens, pencils and charcoal and incorporating fabrics sourced from Africa, Mukeba captures with a charged energy, the extraordinary experiences and people from his childhood in the Congo. Born in Bukeva, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, seeking asylum in Australia in 2006, Mukeba weaves the stories of two cultures, from a place of both memory and imagination.
Touching on themes of brutality, violence, political and economic unrest as well as representations of Africans in contemporary culture, his potent and unique voice stirs emotion, weaving stories of the African diaspora, the refugee crisis, displacement and trauma from war into the fabric of Australia. With a poetic vibrancy and a technically astute drawing ability Mukeba appears to act as a medium between dream and reality, myth and narrative. Facing his audience with the brutal truths of existence whilst simultaneously transporting them to a realm of magic, we find within his artworks core humanities ability to love and heal.
Pierre Mukeba was born in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, fleeing the Civil War to Zambia then Zimbabwe before seeking Asylum to Adelaide, Australia where he has resided since 2006. Mukeba has no formal art education and learnt how to create art as a refugee in Zimbabwe taught by his uncle and influenced by his grandfather who was a renowned artist in the Congo.
Mukeba’s first exhibition was held in 2017 and since then he has won the Churchie Award in 2017 and the Lipman Karas Peoples Choice Award in the Ramsay Prize in 2019. Mukeba was curated into the 2020 Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art and the 2020 NGV Triennial. Mukeba is held in Australian public collections including Wyndham Regional Gallery, Shepparton Art Museum, the NGV, and the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Born 1995 Bakuvu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Currently lives & works in Sydney, Australia
Amri Kumi, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (forthcoming)
Black Emotion, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Transcend, Tiwani Contemporary, London
Undisclosed, GAGPROJECTS, Adelaide
Sydney Contemporary, solo presentation GAGPROJECTS, Sydney
Pierre Mukeba, Hamilton Gallery, Hamilton
Melbourne Art Fair, solo presentation GAGPROJECTS, Melbourne
TRAUMA, GAGPROJECTS/Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Zombie Eaters, Murray Art Museum Albury, Victoria
NGV Triennial, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
LOCKDOWN, GAGPROJECTS, Adelaide
Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Vis-ability, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane
Major works, GAGPROJECTS, Adelaide
We, GAGPROJECTS/Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Her Name, Adelaide Central School Gallery, Adelaide
Home, Walker Street Gallery & Arts Centre, Dandenong
Churchie National Emerging Art Prize, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane
SPRING 1883 Art Fair, The Establishment, Sydney
AWARDS, GRANTS, PRIZES AND RESIDENCIES
Lipman Karas People’s Choice Award, Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (winner)
2019 Emerging Visual Artist, Adelaide Critics Circle, Adelaide (winner)
Project and Development Grant, Carclew Youth Arts
Churchie National Emerging Art Prize, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane (winner)
Quick Response Grant, Carclew Youth Arts
Obiri-Asare, Brian, ‘Trafficking in the unfamiliar: writing black and Pierre Mukeba’, Artlink Magazine, Issue 42:1, pg. 48
‘Portraits of Strength’, New York Times, 22 January 2021
Robb, Leigh, catalogue essay, 2020 Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art: Monster Theatres
Mantelli, Fulvia, Pierre Mukeba, Artist Profile, Issue 46, pg. 40
McDonald, P. “Pierre Mukeba and the Fabric of Life”, The Adelaide Advertiser, 25 May 2019
Downes, Briony, Power in Passion, Art Collector, Melbourne Art Fair 2018 Special Edition
Yiu Nam Cheung, Eugene, Artist Pierre Mukeba, The Saturday Paper, Edition 216
Greenaway, Paul, TRAUMA, exhibition catalogue, April 2017
Crawford, Ashley, Art Collector, Issue 79, January - March, 2017
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
QUT Art Museum, Brisbane
Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton
Wyndham Art Gallery, Werribee
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