Louise Bristow has one hell of a creative process. After visiting and photographing interesting-looking buildings on her travels, she sets about creating three-dimensional models of them with card, collage, balsa wood, wire and acrylic paint, and then uses them as semi-theatrical stage sets upon which to base her oil paintings. The layers upon layers of research created throughout this process combine to create a fascinatingly complex final piece, but it wasn’t until recently that Louise came to view the models as works in their own right too.
We however, think they’re super nice; the elaborately finished tiny structures remind me of walking through Disney World as a child and gazing up in awe at all the cardboard buildings towering around me. From tree branches and graffiti to little jars lined up inside show windows, no detail has been omitted, and the realism she has so arduously achieved only gets more charming in miniature form. Frankly, if her rendering of Berlin’s much-loved Treehouse at the Wall doesn’t have you harking back to days spent with your head inside a doll’s house (like a slightly sinister Alice in Wonderland once she’s drank all the potions and eaten all the cookies) then nothing will.
An exhibition of Louise’s work Unofficial Paintings, will run at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester until August 18.