Lyle Adams

Family structure


by Lyle Adams


For this body of work I investigated the idea of ‘the house’. The personal attachments associated with its structural makeup and common purposes it serves. My intention is to create a feeling of comfort and familiarity that contrasts with an unfamiliar abstract landscape to create an unstable dream space. The unfamiliar comes in the form of an implausible structure, which elevates the houses above the landscape. The structure acts as a metaphor for safety and can be viewed as a paradox.

The surrealist approach applied in my artwork, harnesses the theories developed by Surrealist artists and poets. The visual representation of the house represents the idea of safety within, as well as the social divisions within society. By combining both miniature model making and photography, I am able to produce a surreal world, with real life elements. This creates a strange, unfamiliar landscape.


This body of work also represents the exploration of a multicultural environment, displaying various visual representations of the houses we live in. As I have lived in both New Zealand and South Africa I have taken visual cues from housing in both countries, from social issues to local structural issues. Each house has been removed from its original environment, a deliberate contradiction. By drawing on visual techniques employed by surrealist painters like Yves Tanguy, Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali I am able to create an environment that is both abstract and representative of a typical landscape.


To ensure that i created a body of work that was unique in content, i built each structure by hand and the surfaces were carefully selected from everyday environmental elements.


All elements within the frame were photographed in one shot. 

Using Format