Born in Zimbabwe in 1956, following independence in 1980 he decided to become a metal sculptor, having learnt the necessary skills under his father, a welder by trade. He first exhibited in the Zimbabwe Heritage exhibition in 1988. Towards the end of the 1980s he rose in prominence, winning consecutive major awards at the annual Zimbabwe Heritage exhibitions.
In the Zimbabwe Heritage exhibition of 1988, he gained the Award Of Distinction in the Corps of Diplomats Awards For Young Artists Of Promise with the piece 'Ngozi' [Evil Spirit]. This powerful small work was purchased for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe permanent collection.
In 1989 he gained 3rd prize in the WeldArt 89 metal sculpture competition with his humorous and entertaining 'Thinking Ape' and at year end in the Zimbabwe Heritage 1989 Exhibition the Award of Distinction for Metal Sculpture for 'The Refugees'. This seminal, challenging and arresting image was exhibited during 1990 in Glasgow, Salford, London and Dublin as part of 'Art From The Frontline'.
His later sculpture 'Seeds Of Discontent' stands out as a statement of resentment and disappointment at the lot of the rural farmer after almost two decades of independence. Depicting the plight of the indigenous smallholder, surrounded by the vast acreages of prime farmland then held by the descendants of the colonialists, it is remarkably prescient in summing up the frustrations at the depth of wealth inequality that ultimately led to the farm invasions and confiscations that began in 2000 and stalk the economy of Zimbabwe to this day.
The subject matter of his works was intimately tied into his own emotions and feelings and chart not only his own personal journey but that of individual and collective attitudes to the challenges of life. What he has left us are fragments of his spirit enclosed in his metal constructs.
Paul Machowani passed away at his rural home in Zimbabwe in 2012.
Zimbabwe Heritage 1988 NGZ, Harare Zimbabwe
WeldArt 89 NGZ, Harare Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Heritage 1989 NGZ, Harare Zimbabwe
Art From The Frontline Glasgow Salford and Dublin 1990
Zimbabwe Heritage NGZ Harare 1990
Pauline Podbrey Gallery, London 1992 and 1993
Zimbabwe Heritage 1992 NGZ, Harare Zimbabwe
WeldArt Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery 1993
WeldArt Belfast City Gallery 1994
Billingham Art Gallery 1997
Decade Of Award Winners, NGZ, Harare 1997
Art, Images Of Liberation Struggle, NGZ, Harare 2011
Award Of Distinction, Zimbabwe Heritage with 'Ngozi', Harare 1988
3rd prize, WeldArt 89, with 'Thinking Ape', Harare 1989
Award Of Distinction, Zimbabwe Heritage, with 'The Refugees', Harare 1989
Award Of Merit, Zimbabwe Heritage with 'Vadzimba', Harare 1992
Highly Commended Certificate, Zimbabwe Heritage, NGZ Harare, 1995