Fun With Interiors
By Nadja Sayej
The Funny Farm on Scotch Mountain is not an asylum based in Candy Land (though, it very well could be). Instead, the retro and kitschadorned abode is a definite DIY masterpiece tucked away in the small-town ethers of Meaford, Ontario.
Home to impresarios Laura Kikauka and Gordon Monahan, their twostorey brick house is spooked out Brady Bunch style, with magic troll dolls lining their shelves, 1950s magazines plastering their ceiling and giant stuffed bananas hogging all the best spots on the couch. Strangely, every last bit of the secondhand wonders is fastidiously organized, as if an accountant went on an acid-tripped garage sale binge in Las Vegas.
It all started in 1986. Kikauka, an artist, was living on another farm with her family in Beaver Valley. Instead of seeing each room as a studio to make art in, the rooms became the works of art themselves. “I did installations in every room and called it the Funny Farm City,” she says. “Here at this farm on Scotch Mountain, the spirit relocated with me.”
Hinged from the two-storey house is an art studio crafted by Kikauka’s sci-fi novelist father. Built with improvised materials, concrete that has been poured on walls like icing over cupcakes and randomly placed windows to make what is now a cut and paste Bauhaus.
The spectacle is all in the Red Room Love Den, a scorching Love Boat meets porn shop cheezefest where dildos sit alongside nude dolls propped in Playboy positions (lap dancers: eat your heart out). The lofty Record Room has slumping spongy couches and rows of records, while outside in the seafoam green trailer are Star Wars sleeping bags and mugs made from 8-balls. If you’re headed to the Funny Farm for their second-annual Electric Eclectics sound art and music festival (www.electric-eclectics. com) on August 3-5, wander into the backyard woods where oddball meets highbrow sculptures skulk along the 100 acres of property (heads up: one is in the outhouse).
“The best thing about Meaford is the affordable living,” says Kikauka. “Culture is not where you go, but where you make it.”