Mike Kolbe was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia now known as Zimbabwe. He spent much of his early years on the land where a strong interest and love of the environment developed. Much of his current work features the fauna of the Australian bush including Echidna, Wallaby, Brolga etc. He also makes some of the animals he experienced as a child in Zimbabwe such as the Sable Antelope.
In March 1979 Mike, his wife Carol and their three sons immigrated to Australia, and after farming in Trangie, NSW, they moved to Inverell to live. Having been an active sportsman for the majority of his life Mike never really had time to explore his artistic talents, with the exception of occasions where he discovered a gift for renovating old furniture.
After a holiday in Zimbabwe in 1995 Michael was inspired to make metal bird sculptures out of old drums, wire and nuts. Since these beginnings his pieces continue to be particularly popular as Michael manages to beautifully capture such life like qualities in every individual piece. Michael’s subject matter presently incorporates a broad spectrum of wildlife – birds, animals, insects and reptiles (both great and small) from Africa, America and Australia.
Michael primarily works with scrap metal and black rust inhibitor. He recommends ‘penetrol’ spray as a good product for the upkeep of the finish and to prevent corrosion.
Mike Kolbe’s work is represented by Gannon House Gallery, Sydney