Michael Paul Sibisi

Photograph by Val Adamson

Unlike many academically qualified artists, Michael Paul Sibisi has continued producing and exhibiting his art, inspiring young, up-and-coming artists who have now enriched the cultural landscape of South Africa.

Even as artist–in–residence under Room 13, Sibisi continues to inspire and guide many young artists who aspire to make it in the tricky world of art. When he taught art at Mzuvele High School, he immersed himself in the everyday experiences of his learners in order to discover many hidden talents which had to be nurtured and exposed. Among many art learners who benefited from the passionate teaching of Sibisi are Sipho Mdanda and Themba Siwela. In 2011, Sibisi was the most senior, established artist who was part of the ‘Who Am I… Ngingubani? Heritage project, which culminated in a show that was opened at the Durban Art Gallery in September. The mentorship role that he played among the youth and other inexperienced artists further enhanced their artistic consciousness – an urge to depict an inner world which cannot be described in spoken or written words. This account shows Sibisi’s contribution towards the development of creative culture not only in Durban, but in the country at large.

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