Langdon Tremayne Frauenfelder, self-taught Trinidadian artist, builds miniature replicas of early 20th Century houses. As a child he was intrigued by the creative expressions of older siblings, and one day, while watching his eldest brother build a replica of Skeletor’s Castle Grayskull, his imagination was set on fire, and he built his first house out of a Corn Flakes box. That was the beginning of his fascination with scale models and the inspiration that motivated him to create his own. Felder, as he is known as in the art community, is currently exhibiting eight miniature houses as a part of the Synergie de Trois exhibition at the ASTT Gallery.
With this collection, Felder endeavours to honour the architectural history of Trinidad and Tobago. The charming, elegant and beautiful Gingerbread houses of the early 20th centuries are an inspiration for most of the houses in this collection, and I am impressed and delighted by his attention to detail. The traditional fretwork, roofs, awnings and louvered and Demarara windows bring smiles to my face as I am transported through time.
The Twins (2016)
“The Twins are modelled after two houses, located on top of Maraval Road, which were built in the early 20th Century. I Iove the idea of two houses together side by side with identical architectural features and wanted to duplicate that, including the harmony with which they were painted in complimentary colours.”
“Throughout history, the colour purple has been associated with royalty and nobility, with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic. Like the house it is modelled after, there were many intricate features and I endeavoured to include many of them. This is the house I am most fond of.”
The Ol’ House (2016)
“I chose to create a replica of the house I grew up in because it was in this space that I discovered my creative ability. My first creations were made in the corner of this house that my Mom allotted for me. It was my space to create. I built this house to celebrate the artistic expressions, not only mine but that of my siblings too, that was always encouraged.” Felder matched every feature to the house in his memory, down to the leaning pillars and detached galvanize purlins.
Southern Comfort (2016)
“Southern Comfort was inspired by a house in South Trinidad with wooden louvered windows. I found the intricacy of window design challenging and had always wanted to try. This was my first attempt at pushing the envelope.”
Blue Experiment (2014)
“This house was my earliest attempt at building smaller houses. I wanted to see how small I could scale and in how short a time it could be built in. It took one month to build. This was also the first time I built a very high apex, an elongated walk and an inset entryway.”
House of Black (2015)
“House of Black was modelled after the first black house I ever remembered seeing. We grew up hearing that black was associated with morbidity and negativity and it was unusual to see a house painted black, that looked so beautiful and is also historic. It has stood out in my memory and I wanted to achieve the same result by building a memorable house where the viewer’s gaze would naturally flow from feature to feature.”
“The Post Office was inspired by an old photograph of Gerard Watterson, “Old Post Office Icacos” 1982.”
Find out more about Felder’s miniatures through his Facebook page: Artisan d’art Felder