Step inside the latest body of work from artist Anna Carey. Then take just a minute to orient yourself, and decipher what it is that you are really looking at. Anna’s not your average architect/interior designer, she works meticulously in miniature scale to sculpt and create astonishing models. And it doesn’t stop there; she then photographs these intricate scenes in staggering realism.
We last featured Anna’s unique practice back in 2013, when she was creating long forgotten Gold Coast-style buildings. ‘I’d just started my Post Graduate degree and my research plan was to travel to Los Angeles and Las Vegas to explore the architecture of the cities the Gold Coast has looked to,’ recalls Anna.
Fast-forward four years, and she’s now living and working in LA. The architecture of her adopted city, Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Miami have proven wells of inspiration. ‘There are desert mid-century places that you don’t see in Australia, and a lot of art deco… Plus more neon!’ Anna describes. ‘I love the different characteristics of all cities and always drift in-between places when making the works.’
Photographed in the soft, atmospheric LA light, the In Search of Rainbows series isn’t preoccupied with a particular locale, but rather focuses on exploring colour and its connection to memory and emotion. ‘When I try and remember a place, the colour is always crystal clear. Colour floods the memory in my mind, and this series aims to regain that fleeting image,’ tells Anna.
Armed with her old-faithful scalpel, the artist is always on the look out for miniature construction materials. ‘I think what’s interesting about my technique is it’s playful. Sometimes I just laugh at myself because I’m slaving over toothpicks!’ she admits (they make awesome verandahs in case you were wondering). ‘Although it does seem funny, there is a reason: the miniature object is used as a medium to enter an imaginative realm.’
At a recent exhibition, a man stood just staring at one of Anna’s piece for 10 minutes, then stopped, turned and said: ‘Wow thanks for the ride man!’ before slowly walking away. ‘I create a familiar and confusing space that sits between reality and fiction, so that the viewer pauses and contemplates their own memories and experiences,’ explains Anna. ‘I want to reawaken the daydreams.’
At the end of this exhibition, Anna will return to LA to begin an imaginative video work, an ‘unconventional fragmented narrative’, with the same series of models. Follow her adventures (real or fictitious) on her website, here.