For Adelaide based artist Joshua Smith, bigger does not mean better. In fact, as a sculptor of miniature cityscapes, it’s the little things that matter most.
The self-taught miniaturist is fascinated by urban decay, and has created an impressive collection of tiny, abandoned and run-down buildings.
In the three years since he started, Joshua’s work has been featured from New York to San Francisco, Paris, Berlin, Taiwan and ever here in Australia. His amazingly detailed projects are making waves over the internet too, being featured on websites around the world.
Joshua’s latest works, a miniature of an old San Francisco record shop and a dumpster, were created for an upcoming exhibition at the Palo Alto Art Centre in California, after seeing photos of the detailed miniatures, we caught up with Joshua to ask about his art form and get some insight into the Adelaide art scene.
How vibrant is the art scene in Adelaide these days and who are the other local artists you’re digging right now?
“The scene in Adelaide is up and down. At the moment there are some new gallery spaces opening up which has some exciting times ahead although we have been unfortunate to lose some galleries in the past 12 months. We are just about to have the Adelaide Fringe next month so that will fill the city with many artists, musicians and performers.
“The main artists I am digging are Laura Lamington, an Adelaide based street artist, and one of the most creative and proactive around at the moment, Jack Fran, a street artist going from strength to strength with both his canvas and mural work, and Blakesby Hats, another Adelaide creative who makes custom bespoke hats.
“All 3 are very dedicated and hardworking artists who are very passionate.”
Where did your interest in creating miniature sculptures of cityscapes stem from?
“My interest in creating miniatures stems from my love of old buildings and urban decay in general. I was previously a Stencil artist for 15 to 16 years, and after doing that for so long I wanted to move in a new direction.
“It all took off very quickly and in 3 short years I have exhibited in the New York Art Fair, San Francisco Art Fair, Urban Art Fair in Paris as well as having exhibitions in London, Houston, Taiwan, Sydney and Melbourne.”
Walk us through the process behind creating a miniature of the old Discolandia Record Shop.
“With the majority of my miniatures, I focus on a specific city first of all and then to different districts. I spend endless hours on google maps using streetview as a way of virtually driving down the road until I find a building that stands out to me.
“I found the Discolandia Record shop in this way and was attracted to the colours and signage of the old shopfront. Once I did more research on the location I found it more and more fascinating.
“The original business was founded by a Cuban woman who came to the United States and started and ran the record shop for decades. It only closed down in the 2010’s and every business which has since taken over the shopfront has been told to leave the signage as is.”
Tell us about how the exhibition in Palo Alto came to be?
“The exhibition came about after the City of Palo Alto contacted me after first seeing my work on display at the VOLTA Art Fair and then again at the San Francisco Art Fair. They first contacted a gallery I work within New York City who then put them in touch with me directly.
“After many months of emails going back and forth, I was on board for the exhibition and started to create the work. The artwork will be exhibited in an exhibition which opens on January 20th at the Palo Alto Art Centre called Though That Which Is Seen and will run until the end of April.”