- Love Shadow
Notice anything different about the above house? This is not an ordinary House Hunter post (as you may be able to tell from the picture), so I’m quite excited. Anna Carey
, who recently appeared in Inside Out
magazine, agreed to take me through the process of creating her amazing architectural models, which are part postmodern art and part loving renditions of Gold Coast houses.
Anna, who has a Bachelor of Visual Media with Honours from the Queensland College of Art, found that her studies in fine art have influenced the direction she has taken.
“Creating models of domestic Gold Coast architecture and then photographing them isn’t the most common art technique, and I don’t think I would be creating this kind of work if it wasn’t for the constant support and way of thinking I learnt from art school,” Anna explains.
One of the reasons I am so drawn to Anna’s work is that, while she uses her design and art skills and I use words, we seem to share a fascination with changing architectural landscapes and the decay and loss of old homes.
Anna captures this interest perfectly, noting that “I was drawn to the familiar disappearing houses around me. The houses that I grew up with that hold many memories were being demolished quicker than I could count, which brought up many mixed feelings.”
“I needed to investigate my ideas further, and ever since I have been observing my immediate urban landscape. I have become fascinated by the rapid development and [by] exploring what these new postmodern spatial experiences mean.”
As you can see in the photos, the architectural replicas are stunningly true-to-life. Unsurprisingly, then, they require a complex process of design and construction.
“I start off with a memory and imagination of a particular space. I draw out a draft of a floor plan … From there, I move on to the 3D work, which is created through a range of materials such as paper, foam core, lino or paint. I create each wall [one] at a time and then piece it all together at the end.
“As I create the work, new memories and ideas emerge [and] as a result, the model continues to change through the process of memory retrieval.”
Notably, Anna does not photograph the houses she seeks to represent, which adds to the uniqueness of each piece. “The model becomes a documentation of my struggle with memory and imagination. The models are unfinished and fragmented just like memory itself.”
Philosophical ideas relating to memory and imagination thus reverberate through Anna’s work. Like all great art, the pieces are not only aesthetically engaging, but also create commentaries that the audience can respond to.
No one architectural style is favoured by Anna, who says “It is the inhabitants and the experiences that take place within the spaces that are important. … Living on the Gold Coast, the architecture that holds these experiences is post-war 1950s domestic architecture.
“If I was living in another city at another time, the style of architecture that I depict [might have been] completely different.”
Anna’s works can be found through Artereal
gallery in Sydney’s Rozelle. She has also had her work featured in national exhibitions, and has been finalist at some noteworthy award ceremonies, including the Queensland Regional Art Awards.
Anna sees the Gold Coast as the perfect subject for her art. “It is a unique, new, postmodern city. Instead of a planned city with a centre core, it has evolved through dreams and imagination,” she says.
When asked about her ambitions for the project, Anna emphasises that she wants it to be thought-provoking.
“I want people to reflect on their contemporary spatial experiences within transient space, which is filled with feelings of illusion and displacement. I create transient, familiar architecture space as it opens a dialogue. It brings out what we know, what we don’t know and what we have in common, which is what creates culture.”