Heidi
Axelsen

Heidi Axelsen, SACI 2003 Alumna and Australian artist, creates large-scale public artworks dealing with social processes and community engagement as part of MAPA (Moline Axelsen: Public Art / Participatory Architecture).

Heidi Axelsen, co-director of MAPA and public sculptor living and working in Sydney, Australia, has worked across a range of mediums in galleries and public spaces in Sydney and abroad. Since 2008, she has collaborated with MAPA partner and architect Hugo Moline, creating situated public art projects and space activation through design and architecture. MAPA makes site-specific devices, discursive machines and social infrastructures. The form their work takes depends on its context, and has so far included: personalized vehicles, adaptable shelters, handmade maps, soluble animals, edible cities, a story-collecting tea cart and a galvanized-steel park shelter that can predict the weather. These lean devices actively engage people to question, understand and act upon the built and political structures that frame our lives.

Axelsen and Moline they have built and exhibited work in various locations across Asia and Australia. Recent exhibitions include Owner Occupy, (2015) Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation and 2000 Waraji 200 Feet (2015), Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial. MAPA has created a number of permanent public artworks including Naval Stores (2014) in Ermington, and The Observatory (2012) in Cabarita. Built architecture projects include landscape elements for Bridge Housing, Drive-way House, Kapitbahyan Housing Co-operative.

Recent awards for their work include The Sainsbury Sculpture Prize (2014), Asa Masakusa Award, Tokyo (2013) and the Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant (2008). Axelsen and Moline’s work was featured in the 2013 Underbelly Arts Festival, 2012 Venice Architecture Biennial and 2011 Art & About festival. They have created work for exhibitions such as ‘Shelter Union’, UNSW Galleries (2015), Sydney, and ‘Crisis Complex’ (2012) and ‘The Right to the City’, (2011), both at Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney. They have been artists-in-residence at Australia House, Niigata, Japan; Silpakorn University, Bangkok; Schumacher College, Totnes, United Kingdom and the University of Tasmania, Cradle Coast Campus, Burnie.

MAPA’s clients include Arts OutWest, Asian Coalition of Housing Rights, City of Canada Bay, City of Parramatta, City of SydneyDefence Housing AustraliaSherman Contemporary Art FoundationUniversity of Tasmania, and many others.

Find out more about Heidi’s work on MAPA's website.

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