Small but mighty: Winnipeg miniaturist uses tiny models to tell big stories
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Darryl Audette’s work will be on display at the Annual Dollhouse and Miniatures Show on Sunday
For Darryl Audette, every miniature model he makes tells a story through careful attention to detail. Audette is one of the miniature-model makers whose work will be on display at Winnipeg’s annual Dollhouse and Miniatures Show and Sale on Sunday. In the piece he created that will be at the event this weekend, Audette built a model of the caretaker’s suite and boiler room of a grand hotel.
In that model, he tells the story of a widowed caretaker in the 1950s. “We learn that he’s lonely, he’s living by himself. Everything is quite worn and weathered, but you can see his history in the pieces and the way that they’re arranged,” he said.
He also used the piece to pay homage to his mother, incorporating portraits of her throughout the piece. One of the pieces he’s most proud of, named Sunrise in Salzburg, depicts Mozart. Audette built much of it in the back alley of his home, while dealing with family illness.
He brought it to Toronto to display in a miniature show — but it arrived in pieces. He managed to frantically put it back together in the middle of the night, not thinking it would win any prizes. But Audette walked away from the event with a best in show award, which left him speechless. “It had a karma around it, for sure.”
Audette sometimes spends weeks, months, and even up to a year carefully crafting his miniature creations, using whatever he has on hand to build them. “I have met amazing, gifted miniaturists, where the painstaking detail and skill, it’s almost like a neurosurgeon. And I admire that, big time,” he said.
Audette says he fell into making miniatures because of his love of architecture and design.
“It found me. I didn’t find it.”
The Miniature Enthusiasts of Winnipeg’s annual show runs Sunday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jonathan Toews Sportsplex on Dakota Street.
With files from Weekend Morning Show.