'I’m trying to shine a light on dereliction': Model-maker showcases derelict Ireland 

'I’m trying to shine a light on dereliction': Model-maker showcases derelict Ireland 

Nathan Wheeler with his model of the entrance to Apollo House and a derelict house in Dublin's north inner city. Picture: Moya Nolan

An Irish model-maker is creating detailed models of derelict properties across the country to highlight the need to address dereliction in Ireland.

Dublin-based Nathan Wheeler said he hoped his models could be part of the campaign aimed at getting the Government to address dereliction in Ireland.

Mr Wheeler has had an interest in model-making since his teenage years, and recently started making models of houses using mainly recycled materials along with modelling equipment and a resin printer.

“It all started really when my father-in-law’s mother died and her house was sold,” he explained.

“So I built a model of that house and gave it to him for Christmas.

“That got a bit of recognition and people started asking me to make models of their houses or houses that were important to them.

“I’m still doing the houses for people but now I’m also trying to showcase derelict Ireland,” he added.

 Nathan Wheeler: 'When you look at the models, they don’t look like the usual neat models of nice, clean homes — they’re almost challenging to look at because it showcases the ugliness of dereliction here in Ireland.' Picture: Moya Nolan
Nathan Wheeler: 'When you look at the models, they don’t look like the usual neat models of nice, clean homes — they’re almost challenging to look at because it showcases the ugliness of dereliction here in Ireland.' Picture: Moya Nolan

“I’m recreating buildings all over Ireland that have gone derelict and are just lying there.

“It’s basically a showcase all about showing the dereliction across Ireland, how these buildings are just sitting there.

"These models, like the buildings, are being built brick by brick and it just shows the work that goes into building these homes and other buildings — it should not be that hard to bring them back to life and back into use.

“I’ve got a list of buildings that I’m working on to really show the underlying issue with dereliction in Ireland.” 

Mr Wheeler explained that, while most model-making is associated with creating things of beauty, he wanted to highlight the ugliness of the housing crisis in Ireland.

“When you look at the models, they don’t look like the usual neat models of nice, clean homes — they’re almost challenging to look at because it showcases the ugliness of dereliction here in Ireland,” he said.

“I’m handing models of people’s homes over to them and they’re nice and neat and full of the fond memories people have of them whereas these models of derelict houses really depict the housing crisis[/url[ in terms of the gross, neglected buildings that are falling down around us when we’re doing so little to address it.

“I've picked out a few buildings in Dublin and Cork and the hope is to do an art show to showcase this as a major issue — it’s my contribution as an artist to really highlight the housing crisis,” he added.

“I’m trying to shine a light on dereliction through the medium that I have, to show people with a 3D representation that there are homes out there being allowed to lie derelict.”

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