Artist: Mike Maka (aka Makatron)
Location: Corner of Forrest & Tower Street, Ardeer
The majority of Mike’s public art work focuses on the natural world in relation to the location of the project site. Mike consults with subject matter experts, local authorities or community groups to identify local icons as well as endemic and endangered species of flora or fauna. This concept leverages of this experience, featuring several species found along the Kororoit Creek, including the Wooly Tea Tree (Leptospermum obvatum), a reference to the early post-settlement titling of the body of water. Mike has also incorporated images of the Friends of the Kororoit Creek volunteers who spend tireless hours protecting the creek and preserving its local environment. This spotlight also creates an opportunity to encourage future custodians.
Mike Maka (aka MAKATRON) is a full-time muralist and sculptor with over 20 years of experience in producing studio and public artworks, and is a founding director of the acclaimed Everfresh Studios. Mike has extensive experience working with community to co-create public art pieces responding to their surroundings, and fostering a sense of identity among locals. Mike has led consultation processes for his public artworks with very diverse groups of all backgrounds and ages. He has painted and created artwork for and with communities around the world, including: within juvenile detention youths, as a mentor for 6 months in the Artful Dodgers program; on numerous murals in favelas in Sao Paulo (Brazil), collaborating with local schools or orphanages, a week-long project teaching deaf children in South Melbourne stencil techniques with an Auslan interpreter, culminating in a collaborative mural on the local train station. Mike has painted alongside respected Elders in over a dozen Aboriginal communities including in Yirrkala Arnhem Land, working with pre-school children in Wadeye and Yarrabah, various towns near Alice Springs, and recently in Kununurra WA and Yorke Peninsula SA.