Life In Miniature

All my life I’ve loved making things. From a ski lift out of a match box for some tiny toys as a child to a career that involves craft, design and illustration.

I am also obsessed with interiors. I’m the daughter of two parents who work in various areas of the building industry. I remember as a child going to open homes as our weekend entertainment.

Having said this I wasn’t allowed to peruse a career in architecture or interiors.

So as soon as I had enough money I brought my first house and spent all my spare time renovating it. I always keep an eye on Trademe and in interior magazines, day dreaming of the possibilities.

A few years ago I had a small business creating soft toys, dolls, cushions etc, Sweetpea Home and Sweetpea for Karen Walker.

While I shut up shop a few years ago, I’ve always loved the dolls dressed in Karen Walker outfits, they look so glamorous.

I wanted to create a world for them to live in and I liked the idea of creating parties and magical visions for them to inhabit. So I started building an interior and created a doll for the space. This now sits on a shelf in my daughter’s room.

I posted this picture on Facebook and someone thought it was a real interior. I was really surprised and loved the idea of that deception.

It frustrated me that dolls can’t have expressions and are rigid, giving the image away too quickly. So I abandoned using dolls and focused on creating interesting interiors, utilising all my skills.

Shadows made the spaces seem more realistic when photographed. There is one clue in each image, one real life-sized object – an acorn, blueberries, thyme and a hibiscus.

Everything else was made by me, I even had fabric printed in one of my designs for the duvet cover.

I would love to create more scenes but it’s very self-indulgent and the images don’t have a destination. I had an idealised vision that I might be able to sell the images as works of art, but I think everyone has very particular ideas about interiors, what they like and dislike, so I’m not sure there is a market for them, but I love them.

We have the printed photographs on the wall and the sets sit in shelves in our hallway.

Louise Cuckow

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