Take a quick glance and it looks as if the house is no longer there. Perhaps it was torn down to make way for units, like the one on the corner block across the street.
A closer inspection reveals suburbia being reflected back on itself, after more than 1800 mirrored bricks were applied to the exterior of a 1950s-era home in Ferntree Gully.
The effect is a shimmering one, intended to reflect and absorb the house’s community, both physically and metaphorically.
The artists behind it have dubbed the project Untitled House and say it is a comment on how home ownership is becoming an ephemeral dream for the next generation. In the front window is a neon tent to reflect the transient nature of home.
Three visual artists from Swinburne University were given the keys to the property as part of the Knox City Council Immerse arts exhibition.
“We didn’t want to put a full mirrored sheet up,” says one of the artists, Larry Parkinson. “The idea was for the house to be slowly clad and disappear behind this new facade.”
The mirror house sits on prime real estate: a corner block on a main road. In the distance are the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges.
“Because of its position on a hill and with no real front garden, it sits there like an obelisk, like a cube of mirror,” Parkinson says.
Inside the house, each room has a different artwork contemplating the meaning of home. Household objects such as mattress springs and a chandelier are repurposed as part of the exhibition. Sounds of domestic life are piped through the house.
It took three days and a group of volunteers to apply the mirror acrylic to the house. Coincidentally, builders on the other side of the street were doing their own construction at the same time.
“We’ve been watching real tradesmen work and build something, while we’ve been deconstructing the idea of a home,” Parkinson says.
“And we’ve also been mirroring development in the community at the same time.”
The reaction from the community to the artwork has been all positive.
“We’ve had the neighbours and people stopping here … getting out and saying, ‘Wow, can it stay? It’s just such a beautiful thing,’ ” he says.
“They like the crystalline part of it, the transformation of it into something else that is so different in the community.”
The house will stay as it is for at least a month and then the owner will decide what to do with it.
Untitled House is at 27 Dorset Road, Ferntree Gully. It is open from November 15 to December 9.