Sewell has made his name as an independent documentary photographer concentrating his gaze on the social implications of the new globalised world economy and the environmental consequences exerted by climate change. Through his acute colour studies Sewell also explores the dichotomy between the urban environment and its human habitation. This sits in stark contrast alongside his more reserved yet apocalyptic representations of drought and fire ravaged landscapes.
Sewell was the winner of the 2009 Moran Contemporary Photography Prize for a work borne out of a three year study of the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. He has been the recipient of three World Press Photo Awards in 2000, 2002 and 2005 for works covering the transition of East Timor to an independent state, Australian Bushfires, and the 2004 Tsunami aftermath in Aceh, respectively. Sewell was awarded Australian Press Photographer of the Year in 1994 and 1998.In 2005 and 2008, Sewell’s art practice has seen him awarded artist residencies in the remote gold-mining town of Hill End, NSW which takes its place in Australia’s art history as arguably one of the nation’s more significant contributions to post-war art.
Sewell is represented by Charles Hewitt Gallery, and has work regularly exhibited in leading Australian and International galleries.
He is a founding member of Oculi.