Welcome to the Dreamhouse conveys a nostalgic world where children play happily. As if unaware of the menacing and imminent darkness that has found them—or possibly only too aware—the small figures continue about their doings, masked and armed, yet seemingly unaffected. Through the modification of these discarded childhood, and mass produced domestic objects, the ceramic figurines take on a replacement narrative and a new veneer. By masking their past surface, the figurines now reveal their hollow façade.
Amy Carkeek’s photographic practice explores the impact of popular culture and consumer imagery upon the construction of Western society’s outdated and unattainable façade. Carkeek is particularly interested in the myth of The American Dream and Australia’s parallel Great Australian Dream. Central to this illusion is the veneer of the suburban dream and the commodification of home and lifestyle. This artificial façade is driven by consumer imagery as it relies on the visual power and persuasive abilities of the photographic to communicate and represent the narrative, values, and desires of a neoliberal capitalist and profit-driven system. Carkeek seeks to depict the cracks in this veneer as she questions the motivations of a system that promotes and aspires to the continual commodification of all aspects of life through the production of the photographic.
Carkeek has exhibited in galleries across Australia and in Philadelphia, USA. She has been a finalist in various prestigious awards such as The Hutchins Australian Contemporary Art Prize, Wyndham Art Prize, Moreton Bay Region Art Award, Clayton Utz Art Award, and Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award. She has also won the Contemporary Art Awards and the Lord Mayors Photographic Award.