When Heather Benning saw this abandoned farmhouse in Canada, she envisioned a giant dollhouse on the human-scale. The Canadian installation artist is known for her use of architectural reclamation in order to create a new scene where viewers question their placement in the environment. Completed in 2007 during an artist-in-residence program, Benning renovated the ramshackle wooden house into a into a life-sized dollhouse complete with vintage furnishings and a transparent wall on one side so you could see the interior.
The Dollhouse is a site specific installation by Canadian artist Heather Benning, who likes finding old, run down homes and turning them into giant installations. In 2005, Benning found the two-story farmhouse in Sinclair, Manitoba and then in 2007 during her artist-in-residency in the community of Redvers, Saskatchewan, she set to work transforming the house. The narrow footprint and simple layout of the home made it perfect for a dollhouse.
Benning then set to work on the renovations, which included taking out the old worn-out furnishings, adding new walls and new plaster. Then she removed one of the side walls of the home and reused shingles from that wall to reshingle and restore the roof. After painting and redecorating the interior with vintage furnishings and original restored furniture, Benning installed a plexiglass wall. Visitors to the house can peer into the home, but are removed because of the wall, just like someone who plays with a dollhouse is not actually able to live within it.
Images ©Heather Benning