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.
Sibande’s career as an artist came under the spotlight with the opening of Long Live the Dead Queen at Gallery MOMO in Johannesburg, South Africa (2009), where she introduced Sophie, a life-size sculpted avatar, modelled in the artist’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 at Gallery MOMO (Johannesburg: 2009); at MAC/VAL Musée d’Art Contemporain di Val-de-Marne (Paris, France: 2013); Mary Sibande and Sophie Ntombikayise Take Central Court at Spencer Museum of Art (University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas: 2013); and The Purple Shall Govern at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival (Grahamstown, South Africa: 2013); at Iziko South African National Gallery (Cape Town: 2014); at the Standard Bank Gallery (Johannesburg: 2014). Select group exhibitions include , Another Antipodes/urban axis 017 (Perth, Australia: 2017); South Africa: The Art of a Nation at the British Museum (London, UK: 2016); Re(as)sisting Narratives 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.