Skip to content

Andrew Styan is a visual artist and researcher developing approaches for creating ‘common ground’ in an increasingly polarised world — making a space for the conversations, ideas and vision needed to address our common social and ecological crises. Building on a former career as an industrial metallurgist and lifelong interests in science and photography, his practice uses coding, data visualisation, interactivity and mechatronics to create objects, videos and installations that often reference natural processes and scientific principles. His current research explores how this practice can be applied beyond traditional art environments.

Accessibility is central to his practice with works premised on seemingly simple concepts and representations that engage aesthetically but readily reveal their complexity and deeper meaning through interactivity and exploration. Early works such as The Bell Buoy and Signal Station focussed on raising awareness of the urgency of climate change or critiquing political and social inaction. Recent investigations into the psychology behind our individual and collective inability to tackle climate change has led to a consideration of the common causes underlying the many contemporary issues beyond climate change and the agency of contemporary art practices in addressing these causes. In response, more recent projects such as Every Breath, Catch Your Breath and Life Support System embody principles that aim to promote inclusive discussion across a broad audience rather than reinforce ideological positions.

Andrew is a Harold Schenberg Fellow, a University Medallist and a recipient of a European Commission STARTS prize. He has exhibited widely locally and nationally, with two works touring nationally with the popular Experimenta Make Sense International Triennial of Media Art [2018-2020]. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle.



  • 2017-present   PhD candidate (FineArt) University of Newcastle
  • 2016   Bachelor of Fine Art (First Class Honours and University Medal), Universities of Newcastle (Aus) & Dundee (UK, 1 semester)
  • 1982   Bachelor of Metallurgy (First Class Honours), University of Newcastle

Solo Projects:

Selected Group Projects:

**  also exhibition curator
*     collaborative work


Works are held in the collections of Lake Macquarie cultural collection, BDO Australia and Australian Wool Network.


“Andrew Styan has a rare gift for making complex issues visible”

“Coal is such a dominant agent in climate change and environmental discourse, but most of us understand it only in the abstract. In Styan’s installation, coal is both demystified, and imbued with symbolism and power.”

“Andrew Styan’s work displayed a power in its simplicity and a sense of autobiography and a deep knowledge about a place, but without sentimentality. The three main elements of his video, light, sound and sculpture installation collectively envelop the viewer, creating a ‘device of wonder’. On seeing the work the judges felt an immediate urge to see more by this artist.”

*Amy Barrett-Lennard, Director, PICA; Lisa Slade, Assistant Director Artistic Programs, Art Gallery of South Australia; and Ted Snell, Director, UWA Cultural Precinct

  • 2014   Featured artist in the University of Newcastle YAK student magazine for April, 2014
  • 2013   Featured in the Hunter Valley and North Coast “Town and Country” magazine, June 2013
  • 2013   David Broker**, Exhibition catalogue entry, Queensland Centre for Photography, May 2013

“Andrew Styan is a true romantic expressing an interest in nature that is worthy of Wordsworth or Friedrich. …. Styan’s photographs return his audience to a sense of awe that the Romantics attempted to express through their work in the 19th century.”

**  Director, Canberra Contemporary Art Space

Art makes a space for belief. And belief makes a space for change.

~ The Canary Project

%d bloggers like this: