By Derek Schlennstedt
Mirror mirror on the wall, which house in Ferntree Gully is the fairest of them all.
An art installation by three Swinburne artists has seen a domestic house on Dorset Road, Ferntree Gully transformed into a stunning art display which features mirrors as its main drawcard.
The home at 27 Dorset Road has been converted, with art galleries on the inside and mirrored tiles covering the exterior – all part of the Knox Council’s Immerse art festival.
Though, the home is more than just a pretty display and the feature conveys a deeper message which focuses on tackling the house affordability debate.
Artist Roh Sing, one of three artists from Swinburne University, said the outside was designed to promote conversation around housing affordability in the Knox municipality.
Roh said that the ‘Untitled House’ – the name of the private home on Dorset Street – included over 1800 tiles and that the team spent three weeks ‘working around the clock’ to finish it.
“Housing affordability – that was the idea with the mirror facade,” he said.
With some of the photos you get reflections of the sky and it gives the impression that the building is disappearing to some extent, and that was a symbol for the Australian suburban dream disappearing and becoming out of reach for many of us due to housing affordability.”
Inside, the three-bedroom house has five interactive art exhibits, each pertaining to different aspects of the central and pervading theme of ‘what is home’?
“The house presented us with an opportunity to create conversations around contemporary art and concepts of home and place,” Roh said.
One of those exhibits draws upon refugees fleeing from their homelands.
The Dorset Road property was donated to the art project by a private owner and the property is believed to be developed when the festival is finished.
Across the road, in the reflection of the mirrors, another sign of development is taking place with several units being built – an apt reflection of the changing housing market, suggested the artists.
In the window of ‘Untitled House’ a neon tent sign signifies that transition from permanent home to ‘transitory’ living, Roh said.
“The tent symbol ties into that, it’s a transitory home, it’s non-permanent … it’s something you have to pick up and leave … we are losing that suburban block that we used to have.”
The festival is across the entire Knox municipality with ‘Untitled House’ only one of the many features.
The aim of the festival is to bring art to the forefront, by putting it on display in public areas where people work and live.
The festival will run from 11 November to 11 December and bookings to see the inside spaces of Untitled House can be made at stickytickets.com.au