2012 (June/July) BT Art Boxes -

25th Anniversary Childline

2012 (June/July) BT Art Box  (Big Ben) – 25th Anniversary Childline www.btartboxes.com

 

A British design classic, made over by top creative talent and given to London’s streets this summer.  BT ArtBox is a celebration of all that is great about Britain.  Take the world renowned Gilbert Scott Kiosk: a symbol of bold and democratic design. Give it to top artists, fashion and graphic designers. Have them give it a make over. Then bring it to London in the summer of the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.

Few things quite say ‘Britishness’ like the iconic red telephone boxes designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, and these bastions of pre-mobile phone era communication are now to become the heroes of a London-wide installation, helped along by designers and artists including Malcolm Garrett and Turner Prize-winner Keith Tyson.

The BT Artbox project will see over 40 British and international artists creating replicas of the original K6 telephone kiosk, which was introduced in 1936 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of King George V, in their own style. These will be displayed throughout London in areas including Royal Parks, the streets of Soho and Camden, in the London Aquarium, and outside Big Ben throughout June and July.

The project is being run in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, which will be hosting a VIP gala auction of the ArtBoxes after the exhibition to raise money for Child Line, marking the charity’s 25th anniversary.

Childline founder Esther Rantzen and director of the National Portrait Gallery Sandy Nairne are the other patrons, while designers and artists already signed up include Keith Tyson; Scottish sculptor and installation artist  David Mach; Lauren O’Farrell, designer and Founder of Stich, and fashion designers Giles Deacon and Zandra Rhodes. 

Nairne says, ‘ The Gilbert Scott telephone box is a truly iconic British design, and I’m looking forwards to seeing how artists and designers transform the replica boxes into works of art on London’s streets.’

Mach adds, ‘It’s great to be involved with the ArtBox Exhibition. I get to kill more than two birds with one stone…work with a great charity (hopefully make money for it) and a classic British design. I love all things Gilbert Scott. Anything that encourages us to get his design back on our streets does it for me.’

The BT ArtBoxes will be on display in high-profile locations around London form June 18 – July 16 before being auctioned off at the National Portrait Gallery on July 18.

2012 (June/July) BT Art Box - big ben

25th Anniversary Childline

Combining two quintessentially British icons - The Telephone box and Ben Ben became the Big Ben BT Artbox.  The clocks were set to 8 o'clock and 11 minutes past 11. 0800 1111 The phone number for ChildLine.

 

One side was British with the Queen and Will and Kate waving out the top windows, with British Olympians on the bottom windows.  One side was NZ, with Owen Glenn and NZ Olympians in the top and bottom windows.  Other people to feature in the windows were various Olympians from around the world, David Attenborough and Jim Henson.

My phone box was sponsored by Channel 4.

big ben construction & Warehouse Private view

BT Art Boxes Launch

20 phone boxes were Launched with the media at Trafalgar Square.  Big Ben BT Art Box was one of the 20.  Phone boxes were decorated by some of the UK's finest artists including Sir Peter Blake, Benjamin Shine, Gerry Judah, Maxim from The Prodigy, Zaha Hadid, Deadly Knitshade, David Mach, Cosmo Sarson and Timmy Mallet.

6 Phone boxes were also situated at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, London

big ben in the wild

My Big Ben BT Artbox was located on the roundabout at Trafalgar Square in Central London alongside a knitted phone box (Muncher) by Stitch London's Deadly Knitshade.  The real Ben Ben can be seen in view down to Westminster from the Lions of Trafalgar Square. 

The phone boxes were visited by over a million people.

media interview

Artist Benjamin Shine and myself were invited to speak about the BT Art Box project on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch.