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Anna Jane McIntyre

La Banlieue

Photography by Guy L'Heureux

138, Digby road - mixed media, 2015

With this project I paid homage to my beginnings. I recreated my childhood home, 138 Digby road, with a small installation including a dollhouse, lawn and forest. The dollhouse I used was significant. The kit was originally bought from a dollhouse store in Oakville. I purchased the dollhouse with my mother when I was eleven years old, possibly younger. The store was having a closing sale as the owner was retiring and I was its very last customer. I began making the dollhouse with my maternal grandfather but we didn't finish it and so it remained in a state of half-doneness moving with me from place to place until this exhibition. The kit resembles 138 Digby road.

From the outside the dollhouse appeared to be unremarkable, a normal suburban house with a garden, swingset, shrubberies, flowers and Citroën 2CV politely parked at the side. Inside the house I recreated both real life events and the fantastic world of magical realism that I existed in during my childhood. Behind the dollhouse was its suburban alter ego of a wild forest that existed on undeveloped land. This forest housed many birds and animals including an owl, a murder of crows and burned down skeleton of a house that I remember from the forest as well as other suburban wildlife.

Scenes within the dollhouse ranged from our family library, toys, meals, memorable guests, ghostly relatives, dreams, invented characters, blackified heroes, family projects to sibling squabbles. Each room was be crowded with both the real and imagined.

This project was created for Banlieue vs Le monde, an exhibition celebrating the city of Laval's 50th year. The exhibition ran August 1 to 30th, 2015 at Salle Alfred-Pellan at the Maison des arts de Laval. The art exhibition was curated by Jasmine Colizza and the literary curator was Catherine Cormier Larose.

A publication is available.

Invited artists included: Gwenaël Bélanger, Stéphanie Beaulieu, Andrée-Anne Carrier, Stéphanie Chalut, Kim Dorland, Hillerbrand & Magsamen, Emmanuelle Jacques, Labspace studio, Emmanuel Lagrange Paquet, Éric Lamontagne, Pierre Laroche, Laurent Lévesque, Anna Jayne McIntyre, OBV, Jacynthe Robillard, Michel Saulnier. Auteurs invités Simon Boulerice, Sébastien Dulude, Stéphane Larue, Bertrand Laverdure, Stuart Ross, Hector Ruiz, Marie-Hélène Sarrasin.

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