In his sculpture, Bruce Monteith explores the evocative power of architectural space constructed in miniature. An inversion in scale is typical in art, but the miniature, which reduces a large building to an intimate size, draws intensely on the imaginative powers. We cannot enter physically, but only through our imaginations. As Bachelard writes, "Here the mind that imagines follows the opposite path of the mind that observes."

The specific details of the architectural facades are painterly in their execution. Some depict the faces of once-grand buildings.


Rows of columns grace the porch of a stately Greek-Revival style building. A front door, its paint peeling, is surrounded by panes of true-divided light–individual panes of traditional handset window glass, which have been replaced in recent decades by anonymous prefabricated inserts. These works draw their emotional power both from the detailed description of the building and from our memories of similar buildings. Many pieces make explicit references to old New England towns. They hint at the low ceilings, angled roofs and claustrophobic interior spaces of the New England cottage, broken by the occasional window that opens to the light and the exterior world.
In Summer Time, we can look across a porch and through an open window to see light emerging from behind a partially open door. The implication that the inhabitants of the cottage are just out of sight appeals to our curiosity. The scene recalls summers past and the mystery of new neighbors. In Dormer, the viewer has the vista of a neighbor, looking across from a high vantage point. We see through an open window into an interior hallway, where a stairwell leads to hidden rooms In Insecurities, the glow of light around the edges of a shuttered window announces the presence of an unseen occupant, and offers an invitation to imagine.