An artist shows the perspective of the city through machines in Manawatū
Sam Hickson with his latest collection, Mechanical Art, at the Feilding Art Centre.
The creations of an Auckland artist are a powerful reminder of the huge role machines play in everyday life.
In Sam Hickson’s exhibition of 20 small paintings of tractors, trains, scooters and cars at the Feilding Art Centre, he captures people’s addiction to machines, especially in cities.
Using his skills in portraiture, Hickson tries to convey human characteristics in simple machines.
Hickson, 34, said he wanted the exhibit, titled Mechanical Art, to highlight the life cycle of machines.
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“I think machines have several human characteristics. Like us, machines also wear out and feel tired. Like us, they do a lot of jobs in everyday life.
“And the machines are so important to us. No matter where we live, we all depend on something mechanical every day.
Through rusty red bulldozers, ramshackle old cars and high-speed Vespa scooters, Hickson expressed the action, mood, daily wear and life of machines.
Born and raised in Auckland, the hustle and bustle of city life has always made an indelible impression on him.
“It’s the first time I’ve worked on mechanical objects, and it’s the first time I’ve exhibited outside of Auckland.
“I think the exhibition is a good way to make people in Manawatū understand the perspective and importance of machines in our lives, especially in cities.
“I love the atmosphere of bustling metropolitan life in Southeast Asian cities and multiple modes of transportation such as Vespa, motorbikes and TukTuk.”
The paintings, ranging in size from a small book to a coaster, were based on photos taken by Hickson.
“I’ll get out of town a bit [Auckland]took pictures of certain machines used on a farm or on construction sites and came back to paint them on small canvases.
“It was difficult to paint in small mediums because I have always painted on a large scale. But I wanted to work outside my comfort zone and so I pushed my limits.
Hickson volunteers at the Upstairs Gallery at the Lopdell Precinct Arts Center in Titirangi, Auckland, where his paintings are sometimes exhibited in group art shows.
Mechanical art paintings cost between $95 and $595. The exhibition runs at the Feilding Art Center until August 11.