ARCHITECTURE: LOST, FOUND, AND ALTERED
Architecture is that part of the built environment which we value for reasons that
go beyond the utilitarian.
A building might be intended as architecture, as is the case with the Tudor styled
Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria, BC. Built in 1930 to satisfy nostalgia for an
England long past, it hosted celebrities, the wealthy, newly weds, and locals. In
2007 it was demolished. It Is ARCHITECTURE LOST.
In 1845 John Finkle built the first flour mill in the area at the ford of the Thames
river and founded what became Thamesford, Ontario. Over the years the mill
sold and resold, burnt to the ground in 1898 and was rebuilt. The new yellow
brick building was designed with a fifth floor clearstory which had a distinctive
round window, from which to view the countryside. Storage silos were added in
1956. In 2000, as a new immigrant seeing everything with new eyes, I discovered
the beautiful Thamesford Mill, which I call ARCHITECTURE FOUND.
I work from photos which I cut up and rearrange. That is ARCHITECTURE
ALTERED. Last summer the middle section of the Thamesford Mill was removed,
creating a view of the mill pond landscape. That is ARCHITECTURE ALTERED.
My work is supported by plywood which is built up into the third dimension using
recycled, free, cheap, and light weight materials such as cardboard, aluminum
flashing, scrap wood, and whatever is at hand. A skin of plaster gauze bandage
is applied over the diverse materials underneath, it is primed with white gesso,
and details are painted in acrylics. I like to play with the viewer, using the tricks of
perspective drawing to simulate actual physical depth where there is none.
Conversely, I use texture and very minimal relief to make the work an “object”
which asks to be grasped and touched. The juxtaposition of visual knowledge
and bodily knowledge creates tension which keeps the art work interesting.