A recently demolished Glasgow townhouse has been brought back to life in miniature thanks to a local artist.
visual artist Karen Bones used his incredible talents to create a model of the Georgian townhouse which, until last week, stood at 141 West Regent Street.
The artist, real name Karen Bonella, created the model of the now-demolished building out of recycled foam and cardboard in just over a week.
The painstakingly detailed model features “no trespassing” signs on the barricaded building, with the artist simulating water damage and other external degradation, including plants growing out of the masonry.
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is the real thing.
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Karen, whose handmade designs are made to order, sells many of her designs on her Bricks and Bones website and produced models of a number of historic buildings across the country.
But she says 141 West Regent Street had a special place in her heart because nine years ago the building served as her first art studio.
Karen, who is originally from Glasgow but now lives in Larbert, said Glasgow Live: “I had my first art studio there. I knew this guy, Brian Dunsmore, who had the bike shop in the basement. It was just a little hub, but it was great
“I think the building needed to be demolished for a while, but it was lovely inside. In its heyday it would have been amazing.
“There were always lots of people and a good buzz around the place. It was great.”
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Demolishers this month cleared what was left of the B-listed building, which had been deteriorating for more than a decade.
Glasgow City Council planners gave the green light in December 2018 for the dilapidated building, which straddled the corner of West Campbell Street, to be flattened and replaced with a block of serviced flats.
The removal of the derelict and fire-ravaged building, which dates back to the 1830s, was a big talking point on social media this month, with many residents expressing their disappointment that the townhouse could not be recovered and restored.
The dilapidated state of the building, which many locals called “Eczema House” because of its crumbling facade, allowed Karen to be a bit more creative with her painting when making the model.
She also admits that the fact that the townhouse had a basement and was on a steep slope was a new challenge.
She said: “Although I’ve never personally heard it called ‘Eczema House’, I had friends who called it that because of all the peeling paint and plaster.
“All the breakdown and detail was great to get my teeth into. There’s just a lot of interesting bits to paint.
“The detailing was amazing to do. I actually liked that there was a wooden board that said ‘do not enter’, ‘no floor’ as it just added a bit more interest.
“I desperately wanted to include the basement as that was my friend’s bit there, I just thought, ‘how can I do that’, so I ended up building a bit of sidewalk so that I could get the basement under the stairwell and sort out from behind. It was a bit of a challenge.
Karen, who works at the independent Bloc bar on Bath Street, explained that she would pass the West Regent Street townhouse several times a month and decided to create her model when it became clear the building would soon be demolished .
The original plan had been to photograph the model next to the building. However, Karen says she was a day too late.
She said: “I work at the Block on Bath Street and every week I would walk past the building on West Regent Street and it would be in worse shape.
“I was disgusted, because someone told me last week it was broken, and I like to take a picture of my models right there.
“So I didn’t take it with me and when I did the next round it was still there. I don’t live in Glasgow, but I sent my husband on Wednesday and he was gone. We were a day too late.”
Karen started making her miniatures during lockdown but has now managed to turn it into a business of sorts and sells her creations online and in person at weekly markets.
She is currently working on creating models of premises around the historic town of Culross in Fife. She also plans to create a Block miniature soon.
She added: “I used to do a lot of portraits, but since the lockdown I decided to do something a little different.
“I’ve never seen any other models or anything like that, certainly not in Scotland.
“I’ve always loved doing things and painting, and that kind of mixing the two. It’s really fun.”
You can visit Karen Bones website, Bricks and Bones, here.