Sunday, 25 November 2012
Mike Hewson is a New Zealand based artist that creates public art installations.
Early on in his career he began painting as he felt compelled to document the landscape that he grew up around and spent time exploring. As he further explored drawing, painting and photography his work continued to focus on recapturing his surroundings. The majority of the time he spent in his art studio. The studio in central Christchurch has been an important place for him and his growth as an artist. His studio is amongst serveral accomplished New Zealand artists.
In 2001 an earthquake destroyed some of the buildings in the town of Christchurch, this is what inspired him to create a new type of art work. Mike Hewson's work appears on buildings slated for demolition, which gives the structures one last tribute before they are re-built. The project is titled Homage to the Lost Spaces. He took photographs from inside the studios of New Zealand artists working in the building. He then used mixed media and applied the photographs to plywood. 'That's actually my brother riding the bike and I feel that represents the lifestyle we were living at the time'. The plywood was then attached onto the demolished buildings.
The title 'Homage to the Lost Space' I think it is a good title for the work because by placing scenes in to the spaces it turns it into something that has a meaning. The spaces have been lost through demolition but also being deserted by people but with the installed photographs it changes the community to be closer and feel like this building has not been destroyed. The people in the photographs are artists in the area and people among the community. I think this makes excellent subject matter because it involves the community and makes them feel part of the work and to show how the earthquake effected them. however it also shows that even with a disaster happen they can still carry on and get back to how life used to be.
I was amazed the first time I saw it because its not something you expect to see on buildings to be demolished. After reading behind the idea of the work it made me like it even more because he's showing that no matter what happens to a community you can get past it and rebuild your lives again. It makes me feel happy to know that even though a disaster has happened people can still be happy and appreciate what is still around. I don't really think that it evokes any senses because it is not the type of work that portrays a certain sense or feeling. The perspective may not be completely realistic in some images but it does not distort what the meaning behind it is and the way people view it.