Directors Hugo Moline and Heidi Axelsen have been working together on situated public art projects and space activation through design and architecture since 2008. They make site-specific devices, discursive machines and social infrastructures. The form their work takes depends on its context, and has so far included: personalised vehicles, adaptable shelters, handmade maps, soluble animals, edible cities, a story-collecting tea cart and a galvanised-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 which frame our lives.
Moline trained as an architect and has worked on housing and public space projects for communities in Western Sydney, Bangkok, Manila, and Suva and Lautoka in Fiji. Moline was awarded the Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship and the Dunlop Asia Fellowship in 2006. Axelsen studied as a sculptor and has worked across a range of mediums in both galleries and public spaces, in Sydney and abroad. Axelsen and Moline are directors of Moline Axelsen: Public Art / Participatory Architecture (MAPA) and are members and co-founders of Sydney-based collaborative design collective The Lot. Together 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.