Miniature Architectural Spaces Nestle into Carved Chunks of Raw Marble

Detail of “Basilica V” (2020), Carrara marble, 170 centimeters
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Since antiquity, marble has been a preferred material for sculptors and architects alike because of its relative softness and the unlikelihood that it’ll shatter. British artist Matthew Simmonds (previously) fuses these two traditional forms and honors their history with his miniature models carved into hunks of the raw stone.

Evoking ancient ruins and sacred architecture—most pieces aren’t modeled after specific structures—the chiseled sculptures are complete with grand archways, ornately tiled ceilings, and minuscule statues on display in their halls.

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Within the spaces, Simmonds contrasts the rough, jagged edges of the stone with precise angles and detailed flourishes. “Drawing on the formal language and philosophy of architecture the work explores themes of positive and negative form, the significance of light and darkness, and the relationship between nature and human endeavor,” he says in a statement.

“Mystras” (2020), Carrara marble, 39 centimeters
“Gothic Passage II” (2021), limestone, 25.5 centimeters
Detail of “Hidden Landscape II” (2019), Carrara marble, 180 centimeters
Detail of “Stepwell” (2020), Faxe limestone, 39 centimeters