Tuesday night was the opening of Mike Hewson’s Under Standing Loss Exhibition.
Curated by a very talented and dear friend, Pip Milne, a group of us toddled along dressed as ‘art’ as possible.
The artist himself was very stand out in a bright purple patterned shirt but my sister won my best dressed – all in black, an almost casual t-shirt style dress, messy low bun with front braid, 60s liquid eyeliner flicks and dressed up with very high vintage YSL heels.
Mike’s exhibition is a mostly abstract depiction of coping with the Christchurch earthquakes. In natural, muted tones, he works his oils into dramatic explosions of emotion. Mike lost his studio, his house and friends in the quakes and now is working in WA as an engineer trying to recoup some money to rebuild his life.
Exhibited at 45 downstairs on Flinders Lane, each end of the room has huge photographs of Mike’s studio which was left in ruins post quake. Parts of the studio wall have also been salvaged and are used as backings for some of the smaller ink sketches.
What really made the exhibition special for me was the addition of a small room at the back where Mike’s studio has been recreated. Sketches, notes and photos lie around and are pinned up with the artist’s notes. On the floor is a television set showing pre and post quake footage.
To see Mike intimately in his studio makes the loss of the space intensified. The contrast of the carefree lifestyle before the devastaion to the raw emotions of the artwork that ensued make for a very involving space. Curator Pip has known the artist for many years and I think this has contributed enormously to its success.
There is also a large installation currently on the corner of AC/DC and Flinders Lane.
(This is my favourite of the exhibited work so seeing it on a massive scale is pretty awesome)
This is his first exhibition in Melbourne.
Open only until the 10th of December. Free entry. 45 Downstairs, Flinders Lane, http://mikehewson.co.nz/
(Go enjoy a Campari and Fresh Grapfruit at Cumulus Inc. while you are at it…)
Mike Hewson’s Visions of the View.