|Grant Corbishley new work 16 November 10 December, 2005
"I've always liked making things," says Wellington artist Grant Corbishley, "starting with model aeroplanes and huts, and going on to models for museums." His latest work at Idiom Studio demonstrates pride in craft as well as art, and the useful as well as the beautiful.
Grant has produced a series of shoebox-sized model buildings from waxed paper and balsa wood, often containing shadowy human figures and tiny lights to show they're occupied. They have some of the fragile elegance of traditional Japanese architecture, but Grant, a senior lecturer in visual arts at Weltec, says the designs are based on buildings he's photographed in France, Canada, Turkey and Australia - countries where he's shown his mixed-media work in recent years.
The houses are lovely objects in their own right, but many also function as small lamps or gentle alarms. "They have a personality," says Grant. "They can develop relationships with the viewer."
"The buildings are really metaphors for the human body. The lights are triggered by sensors so they switch on when someone comes near them. I'm fascinated with the concept of proximity. If you get close to something or someone, you have to be careful."