Have you ever seen something so small, so precious, that you are torn between the thoughts of “How was this made” and “Why is it so tiny”? Or do you find pleasure in diorama, dollhouses and displays? This project, my final VAST project here at Emily Carr, is made to bring up the interest and awe of the miniature as well as to gain some sort of control on space in this time of seclusion during COVID-19.
I named this work “Down the Street” because this small space isn’t a recreation, but the distillation of places I’ve seen in my life put together in a way that would be recognizable but not excluding in understanding. “Down the Street” alludes to directions that were vague enough to have someone stumble across this space on a walk in some neighborhood; “It’s just down the street” kind of directions.
This is a detailed shot of the shelf in the work. Made from wooden stir sticks and Popsicle sticks that were textured by hand and painted as well. The glazes used are “John’s Satin 2 Celadon”, “Charcoal Matte Black”, and “Pierre’s Temmoku” all fired in an electric kiln to cone 6.
This is the potting table made in a similar fashion to the shelf. The sandwich is made by hand out of polymer clay. The succulents are also made from polymer clay, all of the dirt is also handmade from recycled scraps. (The drawer is functional)
Seeing these by themselves changes the realism of the work as a whole, however, I want the details that are lost in the inability to see the work in person or that wouldn’t be seen in the photos to be acknowledged. Each of these plants was made by hand and are made with recycled paper, wire and twine.
The glittering texture of the glaze isn’t done justice without this little clip.
Breaking the illusion but being true to the display, this is my work how you would see it on display in a gallery setting. I purposely left the outside raw because it’s what’s inside that counts; the work is only meant to be seen from the front and there is no other intended way of viewing it. The windows are not clear, the door is not open, that ‘stumbled upon’ space is still private to the imaginary person that would occupy it. This is part of the world building or role playing that happens with the work.
This last image is a little view into my side of the documentation, this is the scale that I work on, with a tiny throwing wheel and some make-shift tools, this project came together and exceeded my expectations in the response. I hope you enjoyed looking into my work. Thank you.
Mhairi Ellen Walker
From Langara transfer to Emily Carr graduate, Mhairi Walker has learned useful skills and tried many different practices in fine arts. The culmination of her studies led to this final project where smaller things make a big impact. Exploring the aspects of what makes miniature works exciting and alluring, Mhairi has thrown tiny pottery works, painted minuscule details and sculpted precious details into her final work.
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