Hewsonclad, the brainchild of Mike Hewson, is the result of over ten years research and development as a professional artist. Mike grew up in Central Otago painting the sublime landscapes that surrounded him and went onto study engineering at the University of Canterbury
Between 2009-2011, Hewson worked as an artist from a studio overlooking Cathedral Square. Following the devastating earthquake on 22 February 2011 Hewson took his art to the street; creating epic architectural installations on abandoned buildings.
Hewsonclad is a perfect marriage of these two worlds of art. Drawing on Hewson’s love of painting and his formidable skill and reputation as an internationally renowned public artist and engineer, Hewsonclad is the world’s first modular contemporary painting that functions as interior architectural cladding.
“Throughout the project I’ve asked, how can I sell paintings at a price point that’s genuinely accessible. What barriers need to be removed? Thinking about a retail model in relation to the production of art seemed to be the best way forward.” However, this is very much a one-off project with Mike only creating over 2100 paintings. This is partly because the work is so gruelling, Mike realises each painting individually, so he feels connected to every single piece.
It is extremely unusual to produce original paintings in the manner of an assembly line; more often artists will use facsimile techniques such as screenprinting to create a large number of works that can be sold at a fraction of the price of the original. These prints are essentially unlimited, which is what makes Hewsonclad such a unique proposition: each work is an original.
For this first line of Hewsonclad, Mike has referenced the colour palettes of three of his favourite paintings by iconic New Zealander painter A.A Deans OBE (1915 – 2011). Drawing on crisp whites and cool blues for Alpine, luscious green for Bush, and slate greys and umber brown for Tussock; the three palettes are instantly identifiable with the landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Hewsonclad was launched during (Un)conditional IV in Ashburton from 5 – 31 August 2018, as part of The Physics Room’s itinerant exhibition series. (Un)conditional explores how and why we give and receive, exploring relationships from commercial to cultural.