A handful of universes


It’s funny sometimes how you have to see something a bunch of times before you really start to notice. Lately, it’s been miniature little figurines… and more interesting the different ways they “interact” with their supplied surroundings.

To make up for my pokyness, you’re going to get a lot of nice, big pictures…. Because I know you cats and kittens like that.

First off is Matthew Carden‘s “Small World” series, which you may have noticed careening around the blogosphere some months ago:

Carden and his wife teemed up and took these adorable shots of figurines interacting with life-sized food. It makes me think of things like the mice in Cinderella, and how they live as small creatures in a big world and how they adapt to those surroundings. These are more whimsical than that, but hopefully you sort of know what I mean… They’re living in “our” world.

Then there’s Kendal Murray, whose work I first saw on Inside Out:

I love how in her work, the characters create their own little worlds out of objects from our own. While they feel so alive, you can almost imagine they live in secret. Little creatures that come to life only when we’re not looking, or when we open things specifically to look. I also have to say, I love the compacts because they remind me of (old school early 90’s) Polly Pocket. (look in the mirrors to see what you can’t see from the front).

They also kind of make me think about how we (or at least I) attach meanings/stories onto objects. You know? When you can’t throw an old shirt away because you wore it the first time you and so-and-so kissed? Or all of the conversations you remember having with your grandma while she sipped from her favorite teacup? Stuff like that…. Yeah?

And then there’s Thomas Doyle’s work, which I saw on booooooom, and immediately swooned over. It’s what got me thinking: Miniatures! I’ve been seeing those around!. Here are a few pics from the booooooom‘s lovely piece, because once I poured through Doyle’s site I realized I loved them all and wouldn’t be able to decide what to use. So GO check them out in more detail if you like these:

I love how whole and complete and contained these little worlds are. How they look like moments from real life frozen in time behind glass. The amount on detail is stunning, and you’ve got to love the darkness in a sort of craft that could tend to be of the “soft and fluffy” variety ( sweet and sunshine-y dollhouses, y’know). But real life is beautiful but it’s also a little offbeat, and I like how these have a surreal realism to them..

They look like how you feel when you stumble upstairs to finish collecting the last of your belongings from your old apartment and you find that a place that holds so many memories suddenly and very, very quickly turned to rubble:

And you stand there, flabbergasted and horrified, trying to remember to breathe… because you have the sneaking suspicion that that’s exactly what’s happened to pretty much your whole damned life. And the feeling is ineffable, because while it’s terrifying to have that happen, there’s also this kind of beauty to it; to the process of knocking things down and rebuilding. And in that moment where you’ve got all this whirling through your head, it’s like being frozen in time in that glass bell jar. A jarring moment you always remember.

Because it makes you wonder, if maybe – just maybe – we’re all just little miniatures. If our universe is just a marble in someone’s hand, clinking around with all the other marbles.

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