UA-9744151-1 Locations | Robert Ziebell / CinelandiA

Locations
Window In Window
When I was very young and armed with crayons and blank manila paper I would sit at my kindergarten table and repeatedly draw the house I was growing up in. Always in the center of the page with blue skies and green grass, or buried in snow, sometimes with birds flying over, occasionally riding my bicycle , with the family car parked in front, and of course with a blazing circle of a sun with rays extending out. I got better with the shape of the house as I got older, and attention to detail became important: shutters, shrubs and the white birch tree we planted out front. It was an obsession that maybe demonstrated the appreciation I had with family, routine and security combined living in an imaginary landscape of my own design.

I came across these drawings when I graduated from art school and used them as part of the announcement for my bachelor degree show. The focus of homes and living spaces continued to follow me as my pursuits in the arts became the part of the fabric of my life. Over the years I learned many different concepts of living in unique spaces, how walls are an important of part of life after living in a massive empty loft, how a former general store made for the best parties in art school (as well as great studio), how living in a Calagari like attic would influence my portrait work, among many other shelter experiences.

My fascination and appreciation of personal architecture and domiciles continues today. Homes become a part of people as well as a community, a form of self-expression and even a barometer of unintended display of social class and aesthetic sensibility. And lately because of social media, interior and exterior design has become a victim of a Pinterest approach of mishmash atheistic. The slamming together of styles to form a clutter of a new architectural visual language.

For many years on my visits to the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan I was often awed by the many houses that had once served as “corporate provided locations” for the miners and their families. Even though the business of the mines played themselves out, many of the sturdy structures have remained. When they were built they might have represented a certain layout or design, but over the years they became personal expressions with additions, facelifts, or using alternative materials other than the original that just secured them as shelter or from falling into oblivion.

Documenting these many facades over the years, as well as learning how the culture of mining and life became intertwined in the Keweenaw, I now in turn own a piece of that history in Eagle Harbor by purchasing the legendary General Store that has been part of that community since 1845. Inspired by this history, and the memorabilia found in the store, I began forming new miniature structures that use the elements of not only these homes I have been documenting for over 10 years, but photos from the industry of the region as well photographic details of nature unique to the area.

Assembled together they are now small monuments to the past, and to the present, and they are as unique and individual as the Keweenaw Peninsula itself.


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