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Transforming Abandoned Buildings into Doll's Houses


The artist Heather Benning converts an abandoned property into a nostalgic and enlightened dolls’ house.

It could be assumed that fantasy is the exclusive territory of the mind, only accessible through the resources of the imagination and dreams. However, we also know that there are many physical and palpable constructions that bring something of that world into our own, populating it with materialized illusions.

It is precisely that link between the two worlds that takes place in the project Dollhouse by Canadian artist Heather Benning (1980), and which consisted of transforming a derelict house into a dolls’ house. Benning made one of the most traditional of children’s toys in life-size proportions.abandon

In general, Benning likes to explore “the problems of identity, rural displacement or reclamation, inheritance and nostalgia,” ideas for which there is without a doubt more than one room in a dolls’ house.

The artist spent 18 months rebuilding a house that had been abandoned for more than 30 years in Redvers, Canada; she painted the walls and repaired the windows and brought in the necessary furniture to give it that singular look of something from childhood. But beyond giving us a unique toy, Benning shows us how abandonment and fantasy can be used as an instrument of urban regeneration.

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