Building your own house, customizing everything is fun, but I think building your own life sized dollhouse is even more fun.
I first read about Heather Benning's project on Lula and I immediately wanted to know more about this canadian artist who, while serving as artist-in-residence for Redvers (Saskatchewan), found and abandoned house and decided to transform it in a "dollhouse".
She worked on it for two summers, doing 90% of the work on her own and replacing the facing wall with plexiglass to showcase the interiors.
As it was not about restoring the house but creating a fantasy, each detail - from the (pastel!) colors of the walls to the vintage furniture - has a story of its own. Even the books placed in the library were selected for their titles, according to an imagined story of the house.
What I like the most about Heather's "sculptoral installation" is probably the fact that the dollhouse will not stand there forever: considering the place will need a new foundation soon it will last only few years as is now.
This temporary condition, this urge and this feeling about unraveling time, bring to a sort of sinister aspect. The artist herself told to Lula about it, noticing there's a "sort of disillusionment and sadness" connected to this project, something that lies beneath the pretty surface. Like the dark side of a fairytale.
The interview to Heather on Lula magazine is by Erin Featherston who, in a certain way, has some experience with dollhouses...
Talking about dark fairytales...