Facing a destiny punctuated by a wrecking ball, the second last “hold-out” home in Wattleup, Western Australia, has been given one final chance to make its mark. But not in any manner that you might have imagined. Before the unassuming brick-and-tile home is reduced to rubble, and the suburb it inhabits evaporates entirely, it became the site of an architectural intervention; a large-scale light and sound installation by Australian contemporary artist Ian Strange.
Ian first spotted the home in 2015, decades after it belonged to a thriving suburban township of over 700 residents. Since then, the house – like its neighbours – was sold to the Western Australian Land Authority, which plans to clear the plot for an industrial precinct ideated in the late ’90s.
Having only conceptualised a proposal for the site in early 2021, the artist moved quickly to secure a six-week lease of the property before it meets its fate. Joined by a team of construction, film, production and lighting specialists, Ian built a stadium-sized LED video screen with programmed theatre lighting to bring his vision to life.
‘Dalison’ by Ian Strange
“The idea was to build this large-scale screen that would allow us to cut the house out of the landscape with light, to experience the home in shifting states of visibility, either silhouetted, isolated in darkness, or revealed in its vast, empty context,” Ian says of the project, which forms part of an ongoing body of work exploring ideas of “home” and social displacement around the world.
He adds: “Early on, I started to think about this project as a musical collaboration and I thought Trevor [Powers] was the perfect person to score that experience.” An acclaimed American musician and producer, Trevor’s original 18-minute composition of poetic, experimental sound, transformed the empty residence while Ian’s durational light installation eerily danced along.
Titled Dalison, in memoriam of the home’s address at 20 Dalison Avenue, the “eulogy” was documented by Ian and his collaborators over a period of three nights. The resulting 18-minute film and photographic works – a surviving record of the home and the temporary installation – will be shown in a series of exhibitions and screenings around the world.
The artist moved quickly to secure a six-week lease of the property before it meets its fate.