Updated: Mar 16, 2019
Artist Statement: I live in Torquay, but work worldwide in tourism, predominantly carrying out Quality Assessments (though also running training programmes). I am not an artist; this is purely a (very long) labour of love!
Work Description: In 1987 my parents took me to London for a birthday treat, where we saw “The Phantom of the Opera”. I fell in love with the story, the music and, of course, the Paris Opera. I thought it would be fun to construct a model of the Opera House from matchsticks and started with the façade. It then developed into the whole building. My enthusiasm for the model waxed and waned over the years, and it became an occasional project, but happily I am still at it (and the end appears to be in sight!). There was no template; I simply used images from books (and photographs I took in Paris on a trip). The tensile strength comes purely from the matches; supports comprise a block of 8 matches, surrounding another match which acts as a spindle to bind each block together. Curved surfaces are quite “rough and ready” in appearance, but I think this adds to the visual appeal of the whole. “Glass” in the windows is old negatives from when photographs were taken differently from today. I hope to finish this model this year, but who knows – it’s taken 30 years so far!