Mix and Match City

Tracey Clement, ‘Mix and Match City’ (detail), 2020, laser-cut recycled cardboard, tape, glule, dimensions variable (40 units).

Mix and Match City can be seen in the group show THE HOME at the Hazelhurst Arts Centre until 8 November 2020.

Mix and Match City is a mini-metropolis that deliberately draws on the inherently aspirational symbolism of architectural models. All architectural models represent an idea, a vision for the future made manifest in miniature. They are real, but not fully realised. Infused with potential, they are liminal zones tinged with hope.

The multiple little buildings presented in Mix and Match City encompass an eclectic range of styles that were nonetheless all made from a selection of just six basic shapes. In this model city structures resembling classic art deco skyscrapers from New York or Chicago, Aztec pyramids, adobe masterpieces from Timbuktu, Persian towers, pan-Asian pagodas and suburban Aussie bungalows all coexist harmoniously. And if they can, maybe we can too?

At a time when the notion of home seems more important than ever, Mix and Match City is a mini utopia, a gesture towards a better future.

I constructed this iteration of while staying the the 1940s art deco ‘cottage’ as artist in residence at Hazelhurst in August 2020.