Urban Decay: Joshua Smith
2 August – 26 September

Miniaturist and artist Joshua Smith’s intricately detailed models of overlooked buildings celebrate the beauty of urban grime, rust, decay and graffiti.

This is Joshua Smith’s first solo exhibition. Based in Norwood, South Australia, Smith has shown his miniatures in galleries and art fairs in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Formerly a self-taught stencil artist, Joshua ran the Espionage Gallery in Adelaide.

Five intricately-crafted miniatures of buildings, one roller door and one rubbish skip are on display, each constructed complete with signage, graffiti and urban grime as they appear in reality.

Sydney buildings are the Olympia Milk Bar in Stanmore, the Karim building in Surry Hills and the Chinese Ginseng and Herbs Shop in Haymarket, while a Milk Bar from Joshua’s home town Port Adelaide and a Bodega (grocery store) in Brooklyn, New York round out the set. 

The exhibition offers insights into Joshua Smith’s meticulous approach to his work including research conducted through Google Maps and location photography recreating each building’s facade to scale using a variety of materials including MDF, cardboard and plastic.

Intrinsically fascinating, the miniatures provide a fresh way of experiencing and understanding our urban environment.


Opening night
Urban Decay: Joshua Smith and Painting in Thread: Tapestries and Samples from Australian Tapestry Workshop
Councillor Professor Philip Thalis, City of Sydney will launch the exhibitions.
When: Thursday 2 August, 6 -8pm
Where: Australian Design Centre, 101 -115 William St, Darlinghurst, Sydney
Free event
As space is limited please RSVP early to reserve your place for this event

The Beauty of Urban Decay
Architects, urban designers and planners come together for an in-depth discussion about Sydney’s inner city built environment in conjunction with ADC’s exhibition of Joshua Smith’s work “Urban Decay”.
This event will provoke discussion and raise questions about Sydney’s past, present and future in the context of urban design, architecture and development that engage with issues such as beauty and decay, and the future of urban spaces.

This is an informed discussion by professionals within architecture, urban design and planning sharing knowledge and insights into Sydney’s city design. Moderated by Councillor Jess Scully, speakers will include Shaun Carter (NSW Architects Registration Board), Dr Lisa Murray (City Historian, City of Sydney) and Gonzalo Valiente (Lecturer, School of Design UTS).
When: Wednesday 22 August, 6– 8pm
Where: ADC
Tickets: $11
Book here

Australian Design Centre X Culture Scouts: Surry Hills & Darlinghurst Tour
Culture Scouts and Australian Design Centre partner to offer you a tour of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst in conjunction with the exhibition Urban Decay: Joshua Smith
The tour includes a visit to the Karim Overseas Pty Ltd building in Wentworth Street as recreated in miniature by Joshua Smith in his current exhibition and will conclude at Australian Design Centre to see the whole exhibition. 
When: 8 September, 10am 
Duration: 2 - 3 hours
Where: Meeting Point, Karim Overseas Pty Ltd, 47 Wentworth Ave, Sydney. 
Tickets: $55
Book here

Masterclass with Joshua Smith 
At this exclusive event, miniaturist and artist Joshua Smith will offer insights into the making of his meticulous, intricately detailed models of overlooked buildings. The workshop will aim to teach some basic and practical miniature making skills.  At the end of the workshop each participant will be able to take home a wooden pallet that they have made and weathered.
When: Two seperate events
Wednesday 19 September, 6-8pm and Thursday 20 September, 11am-1pm
Where: Australian Design Centre, 101-115 William Street, Darlinghurst
Tickets: $30 per event
Book here

Thank you to our exhibitions partners: City of Sydney, NSW Architects Registration Board, Signwave and UTS.

Joshua Smith logo bank

Image: Joshua Smith, Karim, 2018. Photo: courtesy of the artist. Joshua Smith, Olympia Milk Bar, detail.  Joshua Smith, Trio of Sydney buildings, 2018. Photo: Ben Neale. 

Joshua Smith, Detail Olympia Milk Bar
Joshua Smith Sydney Trio buildings photo Ben Neale