Ever since watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids or reading about The Borrowers as a child I’ve always been fascinated with miniature worlds. I grew up painting miniatures and my final major project for GCSE was a miniature diorama (which I received an A for), so when I heard about the Small is Beautiful exhibition in South Kensington I simply had to visit. I can tell you now – I was not disappointed.
Let’s start with the size, because despite the name the exhibition is ironically quite large, the small unassuming shop front entrance gives way to a windy circuit of rooms each filled with canvases, dioramas and stunning work in every direction you look. There are over 30 artist works on display, in a variety of different mediums, and this review will only have space to touch on but a few of them – although they all deserve credit for their impressive work. It will take you just under an hour and a half to stroll through the exhibits, and they even include a few ‘secret’ pieces to spot as well.
There’s a fascinating amount of variety from the exhibitors too. Camille Ortoli creates impressive architectural designs from card, bold and bright white with appeasing isometric designs. Simon Laveuve captured my attention with a selection of worn and rusty buildings, conjuring up the kind of building you might find in a dytopian video game such as Fallout. Each one tells a mini story of the kind of person that might live there, leaving the audiences imagination to fill in the gaps. Max Dorey creates dieselpunk-esque machines and robots that will raise curiosity in adults and children alike. Tristan Blondeau’s tiny worlds are almost like a 3D cartoon, delightfully detailed orbs depicting cities, a brewery or an ocean with a solitary lighthouse. David A Lindon takes small to a microscopic level – creating scenes and even a Mondrian painting all within the eye of a needle (a microscope is provided to help see these stunning pieces up close).
Each collection is so lovingly crafted, the detail so magnificent that you can hardly believe it’s humanly possible to create, and yet time and time again this exhibition proves small really is beautiful.
The Small is Beautiful exhibition is in South Kensington and is open now. Book tickets and find out more at smallisbeautifulart.com/london/