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As you may recall, Broken Pencil launched a diorama contest in the pages of our Summer 2014 DIY issue. Creators made dioramas based on dystopias – both from pop culture and their own imagination. Entries poured in, we picked our top five, and displayed them at Canzine Toronto on Saturday, November 1, where attendees voted on their favorites.

While we loved all the entries, there can only be one winner. The people have spoken, and Kate Brown is the winner of our first-ever Diorama Contest!

Kate’s diorama is based in part on the novel Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Here’s what she had to say about it:

The firemen burn the books, but some folks (here represented by oragami birds) “become” books. so as not to lose this most precious resource. The book touched me deeply when I read it some 30 years ago, and I’ve tried to represent my interpretation of it through Anne Sexton’s poetry (cut out and re-configured), a felted blaze, a hand reaching out of the flames holding a burning book, the fireman, a “peephole”, and a small child atop the shoebox reading a book.

Kate will receive a Broken Pencil prize pack and publication in the Winter 2014 issue of Broken Pencil!

Our other finalists’ entries and their descriptions are after the jump.

farenheit 451


farenheit 451 copy


“Hello Kitty’s Last Stand” by Hal and Elly

Hal and Ellly


“GTA Fallout” – Brenna Zuest

Here we see the decay of Toronto and its surrounding area from the view of an ordinary person who has fallen into a procedure of defense through personal protection and the need to numb actions they cannot control. Meanwhile a fallen entertainment center still tries to uphold reputation and glory through events and advertising despite its decaying state and disintegrating infrastructure. My dystopia is a stylized commentary on the current state of matters from the perspective of a resident outside the core but still within its boundaries. The post apocalyptic imagery is meant to place an alternate image on what is and what could be in extremes.



“Game Over” – Winona Bond

I’ll never climb out
Economic collapse signals the end
Trump Tower is now Trump Bungalow
Nothing but sticks remain
All the women have left me
At least I have my hair.

Game Over 1_Bond

“The Warriors” – Annie Liston Walters

My diorama is a fictional world filled with broken people cohabitating in chaos. I had in mind the landscape form the 1979 film The Warriors. Using objects from around the house, I filled my shoebox with wooden figures, black velvet and a lot of hot glue. 

stick men

“Reflected Oblivion” – Pat Murdoch

This diorama depicts our increasing oblivion to this world full of opportunities to create, think, explore – to be alive and vibrant… as we become dependent on 2D reflections to know we exist. The walls have paintings and artifacts showing the creative spirit, a nod to nature, and introspection.  the figures in the center are standing on a cell phone, seeing only their own reflections in the mirror.
Pat Murdoch

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