Lifesize Dollhouse?

Life-size Dollhouse

Saskatchewan artist Heather Benning spent 18 months transforming an abandoned farmhouse into a life-sized dollhouse as part of an art installation for in the MADE in the WEST exhibit that closes in Calgary on June 8 and reopens in Edmonton on June 20, 2007.  The giant-sized installation appropriately titled “Dollhouse” sits on a field in southwestern Manitoba, Canada where it was abandoned in the late 1960s.

Art Installation by Heather Benning

Driving by Highway 2 near Sinclair, Manitoba, Canada, one would see a simple farmhouse from decades ago weathered and unassuming. On the northern backside, Benning has replaced the exterior walls with clear plexi-glass displaying a pastel-filled interior, signature of a child’s dollhouse. As reported by the CBC news, the artist explains, “I wanted to show the passage of time … I was able to show what it looked like before it was left, but then what it looks like now, you know, 35 years later. I chose to leave the porch on there, which is rotted out, and [leave] everything to look quite rustic on the outside.”

Interiors on Display

Benning wanted the furniture to look as though it was frozen in time from the year it was abandoned in the 60s.  Time period details down to the calendars and newspapers were also displayed with great accuracy.  The walls were fully restored and painted bright and colorful to contrast a happier, carefree time to the reality-based exterior facade of today. Each room reveals an imagined memory of how one farm family may have lived.

Nighttime: Lights Out....or Lights On?

It makes you think that no matter how old we are, our happy memories (real or imagined) of the past can help keep us childlike today.

Filed Under: The Art of Dwelling

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