Charles Simonds: Ruined Clay Homes for ‘the Little People’

(Image: rocor (website:, cc-nc-3.0)

In the early 1970s, Charles Simonds (born 1945 in New York) began creating tiny primitive settlements for an ancient race of nomadic ‘Little People’, who had long since disappeared. Clay is the primary building material for these miniature pieces of architecture; just as it would have been for our predecessors.

(Image: macsflickr, reproduced with permission)

His intricate dwellings are hidden in the fabric of our world; namely within the damaged structures of New York, Paris, Berlin, Venice and Shanghai. These fleeting glimpses into a simpler world dramatically contrast with the environment in which they have been found.

(Image: Nick Normal, reproduced with permission)

Simonds’ work forces us to consider our own evolution and the way society has developed since a darker age. His more recent pieces are viewed within the confines of galleries but they still serve the Lilliputians of his imagination with a focus on ‘body, land and energy’.

(Image: macsflickr, reproduced with permission)

Simonds’ affair with his favoured medium has taken him from burying his own naked body in wet clay pits and being reborn from the clod, to making other materials, such as man-made metal, look like this organic, workable earth. Once a potential vandal, Simonds’ career now sees him being commissioned to build small clay ruins within the walls of peoples’ own homes. Clearly, there’s a child in all of us who wants to be part of this artist’s mystical maze for his Little People.

Keep reading – dive some of the World’s most Amazing Underwater Sculptures and discover the Miniature Urbex Art of Lori Nix.


About the author: Alexandra Smith



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