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Michael Edward Hedges

Michael Edward Hedges


Artist biography

A black and white photograph of a young white man. He is visible from the neck up. He has dark tousled hair and wears dark sunglasses. He has his head tilted slightly to the right of the photo. There is light stubble on his face. The top of his shirt is just visible in the bottom of the photo. The background is out of focus and indistinct.

Michael Edward Hedges hails from the Blue Mountains.

His main artistic influences are the graffiti art of Banksy and the moody animations of William Kentridge.

Michael is in the second year of the Bachelor of Visual Arts (Digital Media) and is enjoying engaging in the whole menu of skillsets the course aims to develop: compositing, animation, video, sound and network art.

Artist statement

When on this piece you cast an eye, think of the man that is not nigh.

This was the statement inscribed on a piece of metal that started it all. I became fascinated with the idea of love poured into such a little token. This is the precipice of my work, the focus on the journey and its intended love. For love has no boundaries, love conquers all.

Artist work

Title: Requiem of the Heart

Medium: Video
Date: May 2009

A still image taken from an audiovisual piece. The image is divided into four rectangles of equal size. The rectangles have their horizontal sides longer than their vertical sides. Each is separated from the other by a black border. In the top left rectangle, the legs of a person have been superimposed over a drawing of a streetscape. In the top right rectangle, the side of a person's head has been superimposed over another streetscape drawing. In the bottom right rectangle, the legs of a person have been superimposed over a different streetscape drawing. In the bottom left rectangle, the side of another person's head has been superimposed over another streetscape drawing. The upper streetscapes have a green street, while the lower streetscapes have a purple street.

Artist inspiration

Convict tokens

Some 160,000 convicts were sent to the Australian colonies from 1788 to 1868. One of those convicts was Thomas Lock. He was convicted of highway robbery and sentenced to 10 years' transportation to New South Wales. Before Lock left England, as he waited in prison for his sentence to be carried out, he used a penny to make a token of remembrance to leave behind. The inscription reads:

ME WHEN / I AM FAR / FROM the[e] /
10 Years

Lock gave this memento to a loved one when he sailed for Australia. He arrived in Sydney in September 1845. It is not known if he ever returned to England.

Convict token in the form of a circular copper disc stipple-engraved with 'THOMAS / LOCK / AGED 22 / TRANSPed / 10 Years" is impressed in side one, and "WHEN / THIS YOU / SEE / REMEMBER / ME WHEN / I AM FAR / FROM THE [sic]' is in side two.
Photo: Dragi Markovic.

Read more about the convict tokens

Collector and consultant Peter Lane detailed his research on convict tokens in a presentation at the National Museum on 13 June 2009. The talk also covered the Alexander Mussen ambrotype and the Muriel McPhee trousseau.

audio_w15 Listen to 'Stories of sadness and loss' audio (MP3 42mb) 1:32:00