Mary Sibande was born in Barberton, South Africa.
In 2004 she received a Diploma in Fine Arts from Witwatersrand Technikon, and in 2007 obtained a B-Tech degree from the University of Johannesburg.
Sibandeâ€™s career as an artist came under the spotlight with the opening of Long Live the Dead QueenÂ at Gallery MOMO in Johannesburg, South AfricaÂ (2009), where she introduced Sophie, a life-size sculpted avatar, modelled in the artistâ€™s own image.
Adorned in elaborate Victorian dress, Sibande makes reference to the uniform typically worn by domestic workers in South Africa.
Hers is a celebration of the hard work, strength, love, hope, and imagination that carried so many black South African women – her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother included – through apartheid South Africa, a testament to the power of the imagination as a way through which one is able to master their own narrative, despite the odds.
Notable exhibitions to date include Long Live the Dead Queen atÂ Gallery MOMO (Johannesburg: 2009); at MAC/VAL MusÃ©e dâ€™Art Contemporain di Val-de-Marne (Paris, France: 2013); Mary Sibande and Sophie Ntombikayise Take Central CourtÂ at Spencer Museum of Art (University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas: 2013); and The Purple Shall GovernÂ at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival (Grahamstown, South Africa: 2013); at Â Iziko South African National Gallery (Cape Town: 2014); at the Standard Bank Gallery (Johannesburg: 2014). Select group exhibitions include ,Â Another Antipodes/urban axis 017Â (Perth, Australia: 2017); South Africa: The Art of a NationÂ at the British Museum (London, UK: 2016); Re(as)sisting NarrativesÂ at Framer Framed (Amsterdam, Netherlands: 2016); at District Six Museum (Cape Town: 2016); the Lyon Biennale (Lyon, France: 2013); and the 54th Venice Biennale (Venice, Italy: 2011), amongst others.