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Warwick modeller's stunning work making the new old

STUNNING: Barry Blaikie has an amazing talent for bringing the old and forgotten back to life, in miniature form.
STUNNING: Barry Blaikie has an amazing talent for bringing the old and forgotten back to life, in miniature form. Jonno Colfs

AT FIRST glance, Barry Blaikie's Warwick shed is full of large nondescript cardboard boxes. But when he opens them a view into a magical and intricate world presents itself.

Each box is filled with miniature dioramas or models of scenes that would be more than familiar to most country folk: a beat-up rusty car sitting in a paddock or a dilapidated shed barely containing its long-forgotten junk.

 

Mr Blaikie said there was one thing he refused to do with model-making.

"There's a thought everything needs to look perfect, flawless and new," he said.

"I hate that - I want my models to look like they've been sitting down the paddock for 50 or 60 years."

Mr Blaikie said he started out making kit cars and using them as the feature in his realistic miniature settings.

"I'd see old bombs abandoned and left to decay in a paddock or an old shed," he said.

"That was my inspiration.

"I did quite a few like that but they were small and not a lot went into them, so I started on a larger scale."

The 80-year-old former meat inspector said his first attempt at a large-scale miniature was the famous Fraser Island wreck, the SS Maheno.

"I started constructing old abandoned buildings, the more broken the better," he said.

"I'd get a general idea then add my own flavour, the cars just became a piece of the large setting.

"The pieces started to get bigger and bigger - the biggest took two years and takes six huge boxes to store. "It's a wrecking yard, with 40-odd cars in it."

Everywhere is small, fascinating attention to detail - papers blowing in the wind, tiny beer bottles sitting on a window.

Water tanks are made from baked bean tins.

The corrugated iron is made from hand-crimped aluminium cans.

In January and February, Mr Blaikie's stunning works will feature in an exclusive exhibition at the Warwick Art Gallery.

Topics:  warwick art gallery warwick artist warwick community warwick people



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