ESSAY: 'Dalison'

by Eva Hagberg

A year and a half ago, we bought a house. Well, we call it a house, because there’s something more solid, more permanent, about calling it a house—but really, of course, this being Brooklyn, it’s a condo. A week after we took possession, we dismantled the entire interior, took the walls down, ripped the floorboards up. We brought a friend over, walked in with only our flashlights to light the way. I saw piles of wood, nails everywhere, a darkened room, illuminated in spots with our iPhones. “This is ours,” I said. “No one can ever take this away.” As Ian Strange’s work reminds us, that’s just ...


ARTICLE: 'Ian Strange’s Dalison'

by Cameron Bruhn 

There are compelling contradictions and complexities in the multidisciplinary artworks of Ian Strange. The Perth-born artist, who over the past decade has lived and worked in the USA and Australia, is known for his eerie explorations of domestic circumstances in crisis and decline. Strange depicts the darkness, disenfranchisement and disaster of emotionally and physically amplified living conditions with a beguiling, graphic and cinematic sensibility that simultaneously dislocates the viewer and monumentalizes the built artefact. Strange returned to Perth in 2020 and spent the following two ye...


ESSAY: 'Home'

by Jack Mitchell

Somewhere, we have a place that we feel is our home. Some conspiracy of rock and tree and earth and water, of snow or ice or sand that participates in the relational dynamics that produce our idea of home, and for most people that is a sacred place. This place is not just a location, a physical place, but a vessel for the pattern of behaviour that is our culture, for the performance of self and identity. It is where we love, where we celebrate, where we feel safe, where we enter the dreamworld. Home is the place that allows us to be and do all of this, and if that place is destroyed, or we are...


ESSAY: 'Threads of Vision'

by Rory Hyde

At the time of the invention of perspective, it was still undecided how vision worked. One prominent theory suggested that invisible filaments projected out of the eye, latching onto objects, drawing in the mind what we perceive. The Renaissance polymath Leon Battista Alberti wrote in 1435, “Let one, without doubt, then, conveniently imagine the rays as certain extremely fine threads, connected as straight as they can be in a single extremity as in a bundle and accepted in the same place and at the same moment inside the eye, where the sense of sight resides.” [1] An etching by Abraham Bosse f...


ESSAY: 'Island'

by Sreshta Rit Premnath

The culmination of a two year long project in Ohio and New York, Ian Strange continues his ongoing exploration of the contradictory ways in which the idea of home signals both safety and entrapment. The exhibition’s title, ISLAND conjures the image of shipwrecked sailors taking refuge on dry land, and conversely–in light of recent natural disasters–people trapped and confined with no escape. In his photographs, sculptures and installations Strange uses an iconic signifier of home, the American suburban bungalow, with its pitched roof construction, that is designed to visually reinforce the ide...

ISLAND, 2015 – 17

STATEMENT: 'Making Island'

by Ian Strange

ISLAND is a body of work I started in the USA in 2015 and presented in my recent solo exhibitions at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Australia and with Standard Practice, New York. The exhibitions are anchored by three new large photographic works documenting interventions directly undertaken on foreclosed homes through Ohio’s ‘rust-belt’ region as well as research and work created in Detroit and New York between 2015 and 2017. The exhibition presents artefacts retrieved from inside the homes; found photographs, research, sound works, the reconstructed sections of now demolished homes, as well as d...

ISLAND, 2015 – 17

ESSAY: 'Domestic Interventions'

by Daniel Palmer

About a decade ago, as I was renovating my first house – a rundown 1940s clinker brick housing commission house – a small photograph dropped onto the floor. It had slipped out from where it had been resting, behind the back of a timber mantelpiece over a grimy kitchen chimney. This piece of paper – as yellow as the cigarette-stained walls – showed a small group of young people in swimsuits. It offered little in the way of information, say of where or when it was taken, or who was pictured. It was simply an abandoned portrait of a group of people quite possibly now dead, an image marked by what...

ISLAND, 2015 – 17

ESSAY: 'Ian Strange’s Shadows of Home'

by Kate Britton

Ian Strange only began making work about the idea of home once he had left his behind. The move from the suburbs of Perth to New York was a productive one, affording Strange the opportunity to critically reflect on where it was he came from. In 2011 he was invited back to Australia to produce a large-scale installation on Cockatoo Island, an indigenous fishing port turned convict penal establishment turned shipyard turned art venue in the centre of Sydney Harbour, and the cavernous Turbine Hall, hundreds of metres squared and several stories high, became the site of Strange’s first significant...

SHADOW, 2015 – 16

ESSAY: 'The Aesthetics of Ruination'

by Craig Malyon

"The home can represent a place of safety and security, so it depends on where the home is placed for the viewer. For me a marking on a house isn’t an act against that specific house, it’s an act against the ideas of what the home represents. It presents larger ideas of the home as societal cohesion, safety, family and community. Then there is the idea of the imagined home, the home of childhood, these poetics that we have inside us, that we carry with us.” – Ian Strange Ian Strange’s interventions on domestic suburban houses traverse our memories. In his latest exhibition ‘Shadow’ the treatme...

SHADOW, 2015 – 16

ESSAY: 'Deus ex Domus'

by Ashley Crawford

Ian Strange, in his chosen medium of the deserted house, is doing something strange (excuse the pun). If anything he is painting the inside of the house on the outside. Not in an obvious way of course, but it may be said that he is painting the mood of the former home, inverting interior with exterior, perhaps illustrating the fate of the occupant(s), portraying via his own fevered imagination, the catastrophization of the inhabitants. These are episodes of Neighbours directed by David Lynch and scripted by Stephen King with advice from Sigmund Freud. Indeed there is much of the famous psychoa...

LANDED, 2014

STATEMENT: 'Making Final Act'

by Ian Strange

For the past seven years, my art practice has focused on the home and suburbia. I have created large-scale sculptures, films, photographic works, and site-specific interventions on homes in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Poland and Japan working with communities in disaster zones, affluent neighborhoods and post-GFC-affected regions. Through this ongoing body of work I have become specifically interested in the home as a psychological symbol and the false sense of permanence it seems to represent. At the center of my art practice has been the creation and documentation of large-scale site-sp...


ARTICLE: 'Rising up in the Red-Zones of Christchurch'

by Chris Johnston

We’re in a derelict suburb of Christchurch called Avonside in the heart of the New Zealand city’s earthquake red zone. The houses are mostly still standing but no one lives here. There is no power, water or sewerage. The houses are boarded up and tagged, with overgrown gardens, like ghosts of the recent past. The two big earthquakes here were in September 2010 and then again five months later in February 2011. In the second earthquake 185 people died. Over the course of both, most of the central business district of the south island’s biggest city was destroyed and large swaths of suburbia ren...


ESSAY: 'Ian Strange: SUBURBAN'

by David Hurlston and Polly Smith

'Suburban is based around eight site-specific works which I have undertaken over the past two years. These involved directly painting over homes or, in some cases, burning them to the ground. These works were all meticulously planned and then documented through film and photography, working with a large film and production team.’ Ian Strange’s artistic career began when he was a teenager growing up in the suburbs of Perth, and from the late 1990s played an active role in Australia’s street art movement. Strange is now an internationally recognised artist who lives in both the United States and...

SUBURBAN, 2011 – 13

ESSAY: 'From Home To Home'

by Sarah Crown

Many artists have worked on the concept of home but few have used the house as a physical medium. Names that we can recall immediately are Gordon Matta-Clark, Rachel Whiteread, Louise Bourgeois. Their monumental creations with or on houses have effectively changed the way in which we think about the home as a symbol and stretched our concepts of public art and sculpture. The importance of their work lies not only in the implication of a huge physical effort but also in a new way of documenting it. Their influence on the younger generation of artists is still strong, but the uniqueness of their...

SUBURBAN, 2011 – 13

ESSAY: 'Tell the World I’m Coming Home'

by Simone Douglas

Sometime when my own body began to change and I discovered the first signs of manhood upon me, the child left and did not reappear. Though I dreamt of him often enough in those early years, and have done so since. I have forgotten the language we used, and if he were to reappear, perhaps we could no longer communicate. Did he have some message for me then? If so he failed to deliver it. Or did so and it has slipped my mind. Or the language he used on whatever occasion it was has already passed my understanding and could not be translated into daily speech. I believe I think I have always belie...

HOME, 2011