photographic documentation by Zan Wimberley
blackwell street (2015)
exhibited at firstdraft in sydney, august 2015
timber, timber laminate, plasterboard, paint, antique pendulum clock, cigarette packets.
8.2m x 4.1m x 2.7m
blackwell street is a fragmented reconstruction of the house in which Van Der Ryken’s grandparents lived for forty years, including the time of his father’s childhood and adolescence, as well as his own. after being vacant for a number of years since the house was sold to property developers and scheduled for demolition, the house became dilapidated and heavily vandalised; walls on the inside of the house graffitied and kicked in, windows broken leaving shards of glass and debris to cover the carpeted floor. the materials that dressed the inside of the house, including timber wall panels, skirting boards and carpet have been harvested from the house and pieced together to recreate the deteriorated domestic space in it’s vandalised state. for the duration of the exhibition, the gallery becomes the site of the run-down home; the derelict qualities and eerie ambience of which impart a sense of hopelessness and existential belittlement. the seemingly vacant environment of the fragmented reconstruction offers a sense of melancholic desolation.
situating the viewer as an intruder to the once private space, the work metaphorically challenges personal reliance on the secrecy of intimate thought and activity.