Sunday, 16 November 2014

Cathedral of Junk

So I mentioned the Cathedral of Junk in my previous post about Austin. Well, this is it. Built by Vince Hannemann, it is invisible from the street so unless you knew it was there you'd walk right on past his house! The entire structure is built in his back garden, on a residential street in Austin, using just reclaimed and recycled materials. It literally is made from junk (60 tons of it roughly!)

Being into anything a bit quirky and arty, I obviously had to visit. Vince asks for a $10 donation per group (very reasonable at around £2.50 for each of us!) and you need to call ahead to make sure he is home. He was very unobtrusive, just pointing out a few things then letting us go off and explore! Even though there were about five or six other people there while we were it didn't feel crowded at all. The whole place had the feel of a secret clubhouse or den, like the kind I'd dream of finding as a kid, and apparently this is exactly what Vince was going for. It was never built as some modern art piece, there is no secret meaning behind it, he just started building it because he felt like it. 

 (cheesy couple photo - ten days in Texas sun and I am still the colour of milk!)

 It's not all just on one level - there is a second level which you reach by a set of stairs made from old tyres. The Cathedral of Junk isn't just a pile of stuff - it really is a proper structure, which is probably why Vince's neighbours have been unsuccessful in getting the structure deemed 'unsafe.'

This section was made entirely from old wheels and hubcaps and tyres - I love how Vince groups similar items together to make a real statement.

 Lots of the Cathedral of Junk is divided up by colour (which obviously I loved - colour themes are totally my jam!) It was so fun to spot all the different things within each colour section - the blue and the yellow sections were my favourites, and I spent ages just staring! One day I want a house with each room themed around a different colour!

If you visit Austin, and like things that are a bit different, then I cannot recommend enough that you go visit the Cathedral of Junk. It's incredibly humbling to see someone that has spent twenty years creating something not for money, or fame, or critical acclaim, but just because he wanted to and because he enjoyed doing it.

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