Profile: Matuse Peace, “human being, artist”

Matuse Peace describes himself as a travelling stranger passing through life – a life he fills with creativity and spiritual enlightenment. Matuse is an actor, a lyricist, a visual artist, an educator and a student.

His work draws from his life experiences, having grown up between Western Sydney and Brooklyn, New York.  Matuse’s outward identity has caused internal strife throughout his life but he has been, and still is, on a journey of self discovery.

His acting career has taken him to cities like Dubai and Cairo, where he worked on a theatre show called Clusters of Light. He also appeared in a cinematic released feature film Cedar Boys (2009) and later played the role of Shaka in the successful Australian prime-time television series Underbelly – The Golden Mile (2010).

Matuse has this special skill where he can freestyle rap and tell an interesting story at the same time. Boy can spit bars. He is currently producing videos for his music album THE OUTCOME X.

On his own, Matuse has many talents, but it is the way he collaborates with other people to create meaningful art that makes him special. You can often find him at the Bankstown Arts Centre, performing or working with other young artists. In April this year, his portrait, taken by John McRae, was a finalist in the 2017 National Photographic Portrait Prize. In August, Matuse hosted an event at Bankstown Arts Centre where he released a book, showcased a conceptual art exhibition and premiered two short films.

When Matuse isn’t producing content, he engrosses himself in education. He works at Sir Joseph Banks High School as a casual teacher where he used to be a youth worker. He has a close relationship with the school and his students. He says his students relate to him easily because his quick witted banter keeps them in check. Matuse is no stranger to being a student himself. He fills much of his week seeking spiritual guidance, attending lectures and reading thoroughly across all faiths. He identifies as a Muslim and is aware of the negative stereotypes but doesn’t hide from talking about his religion. In fact he is quite well versed in theological debate and fronts any concept with curiosity and humility.

Matuse’s work brings people together. And his stories reflect a shared experience. And because of that, Matuse is truly a community artist. – Bakri Mahmoud