National Gallery of Australia | Audio Tour | The National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition 2005

Ruth JOHNSTONE, The doll's house gallery (boxed) 2004



The phenomenological playfulness in the process of model making is guided by Jonathan Swift’s descriptions of the inversions of scale between humans and architectural environments in Gulliver’s travels. In his sojourn on Lilliput, Gulliver was housed within the outer walls of a large property but was unable to access the interior of any building other than to peer through windows. This play on the denial of access to space other than through tiny vistas triggers the imagination of the viewer in a particular way so as to transcend the impossibility of being able to physically enter that space. An architectural model does not replicate the sensory experience of the full-scale architectural source, but it does provide a reference for triggering memory of experience or imagination, and it is indeed a work in its own right. If the notion of the miniature as a metaphor for interiority is to be embraced, then the contextual placement of the model within a gallery space may well heighten the experience of interiorit