A home is more that wainscoting and beams and colour palette for your walls. A home is what you make in it, and a place where life happens. There are many ways Canadians memorialize this, but here’s a way you might not have heard of before: Architectural Portraits.
Architectural Portraits are 3D art, hand-made by North Vancouver artist Graham R. Eagle, who dropped his architectural profession in 1994 to become a full-time artist. They are wooden creations of familiar materials, re-purposed to create a miniature display of what is uniquely you. The Architectural Portraits can be anything from a stylized re-creation of your home, or simply create an all-new house for the personal display of your treasured items and hobbies.
“The Life & Times of Chris Houston,” photo courtesy of Graham R. Eagle.
Eagle is able to give these pieces a uniquely personal touch for each client, with amazing attention to detail. Whether it be the theme of the house, or through the use of miniature versions of your very own treasured photos, you can bet that you will see a convincing reflection of you and your home staring back at you. Eagle can even hang some of your cherished personal photographs in miniature form on the walls of your miniature house.
“Loveng You,” Photo courtesy of Graham R. Eagle.
Have a business that you pride yourself on? What about a hobby that everyone knows you by? Nothing like that? Then how does a bar with cork barstools sound to you?
“Songs in the Key of Life,” photo courtesy of Graham R. Eagle.
Each piece is made of wood, with mixed media thrown in to further entertain the eye. Found objects are also a material sometimes featured in his creations, and always make the pieces particularly intriguing. All of these material together gives these pieces that rustic, Canadian look. Sustainability and economy of use is a now-familiar notion in Vancouver, and these Portraits are an example of the three R's (reduce, reuse, recycle!) in truly beautiful way.
“Gunnar’s Chairlift,” photo courtesy of Graham R. Eagle.
These pieces can be displayed on surfaces, such as the fireplace mantle, where my family has kept our stylized ski cottage cross piano bar for years. Or, it can be mounted proudly on your wall, like a much more engaging photo (even if you don’t include any actual photos on it), such as this re-creation of the Troll’s in Horseshoe Bay that they proudly display in their family-style restaurant. Head down to Troll’s if you’re in the neighbourhood to have a closer look at the magnificent recreation.
Troll’s in Horseshoe Bay, photo courtesy of Tammy Tsang.
In your commission, you can note to highlight the components of your home that make it your pride: include your guitar! That book you got signed by your favorite author. Is there one room in your house that you want to highlight? Maybe wainscoting is a significant part of your sense of home!
“King of the Castle,” photo courtesy of Graham R. Eagle.
Architectural Portraits are just one of the artist’s creations in this style. Check out his website to learn how you can have your home displayed… in your own home.
Researched and Written by Emily E. A. Stringer, undergraduate student at UBC in the Sociology and Geography: Environment & Sustainability programs.