Keynote speaker – Landscape Australia Conference 2018
Mike Hewson is a visual artist with a background in civil engineering and marine and heavy-civil construction. His projects open a dialogue between art and architecture, seeking to find a synergy with the political objectives of a community while actively pushing against the regulatory framework that dictate the material surfaces, layout, infrastructure and appearance of each project’s peculiar civic arena. His practice focuses on thoroughly understanding the constraints of a project and then working around these to find new ways to sneak artwork into or onto a site.
Hewson recently completed a large-scale commission for the Wollongong civic centre that aims to revitalise the city centre and create a series of identity-forming icons for the city. The project used the public art budget to solve functional issues in the mall by introducing the local landscape (sandstone and living trees) as a kind of absurdist sculpture that doubles as both outdoor seating and children’s playground.
Mike Hewson received a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Civil Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 2007 and a Master of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) from Columbia University, New York in 2016. He lives and works between New York and Sydney.