Mthabisi Phili is a visual artist, writer and independent curator.
He primarily works in mixed media 2 and 3 dimensions working from aluminium and newspaper materials. His artistic practices, initially informed by the Zimbabwean experience (situation) in the Mugabe era; from there he has projected to tackle the idea of ‘the image in space/places, actions and responsibility’. His series on the ‘image’ of the Police, the State and balance between ‘individual bodies’ and ‘institutional systems’ is about critically questioning and re-interpreting the politics of the status quo. He uses the image of the ‘Police-man’ to explore a multi-plural of issues such as the ‘Police state,’ censorship-restriction, big brother, the social contract, accountability in the spaces we occupy.
He has exhibited in Zimbabwe and internationally since 2002.As a result of his socio-economic, political and critical artworks; in 2010 he was a highly recommended artist for Freedom to Create and also the same year he exhibited in Cape Town at Africa Speaks and Connects Digital Exhibition: Climate Change Africa. He has also exhibited in Mumbai-India, Sarajevo-Herzegovina, Anna Tzarev Gallery -New York, Cairo, and CCA-Lagos2010, 2012.
As an Independent Curator he has curated since 2008: Discovering Our Identities2008, Blue-pencil2010 and Perception360-2011. He has curated private shows as well as for Intwasa Arts Festival where he currently serves as Visual Arts Consultant and Curator. Prior to fulltime artistic practice he served as Exhibitions Officer for the Visual Artists Association of Bulawayo in 2006-2008.
His writings and poems have been published in various anthologies and online, He was a member of the Poetry Circle Bulawayo2002-2005.