I adore rusty things, found objects,and everything in that family, love it. I've always been collector (or is it hoarder?) I've been hearing about this very Austin art/junk - sculpture/structure for too long considering how amazing it is. Most recently I picked up a flyer at the Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata (one of my favorite places, anywhere, and deserving of its own full post!)
I finally went this week. It was even better than I imagined. It brought to life the daydreams I have always had of elaborate treehouses built of junk that magically holds together.
I took Todd along, perhaps to try to impress him. :)
If you are anywhere near Austin, I can't recommend strongly enough to get down there right away! Vince (builder/curator) now has extended hours so you can go most of the week. At night the whole thing is lit up with twinkling lights. It's hard to tell in my photos - I think I tend to try to capture the sculptural aspect more than the structural (I guess that civil engineering thing didn't really pass down from my father!) - but it is an incredibly stable formation of miniature rooms, tunnels, stairs that lead to decks and turrets, all
The man behind the magic, Vince Hannemann, wandered around with a cup of coffee, answered our questions patiently (I should say Todd's, mostly. I was too mesmerized and kind of dumbstruck), and would disappear and reappear in different parts of the cathedral.
As much as it might look like a bunch of stuff just thrown together at first glance, there is so much careful composition and care taken in the installation. Depending on your viewing perspective and how close you are to any given part, you see 3D tapestries that evolve with your steps, you are surrounded by treasures, you can't tell which way you came from or are going and that is the great part...
It makes me wish that there were many more things like this in the world. I'll see what I can find out about that museum for abandoned dolls in North Carolina that I went to by the coast one time.
Here is an article from Roadside America
The address is 4422 Lareina, off S. 1st ave.
Here are some photos I took. More are on flickr :