This summer BT has commissioned 85 of the nation’s most creative minds to transform full-size fibre-glass replicas of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s iconic red K6 kiosk into striking, and often thought provoking, works of art to celebrate Childline’s 25th anniversary. Those involved in BT’s artbox project include starchitect Zaha Hadid, fashion designers Giles Deacon, Julien Mcdonald and Zandra Rhodes as well as digital design duo Basso & Brooke and interior designer Nina Campbell.
Each has created something truly unique, aesthetic reflections on aspects of British visual culture in the wake of jubilee jubilance and in anticipation of London Twenty Twelve. There’s the Big Ben ArtBox, the Box Lounger, a studded leather bound sofa in K6 red, a Circus themed ArtBox, an ArtBox named Mr Smith atop of which is proudly placed a giant bowler hat made out of lego, and a majestic Royal Box. Sir Peter Blake’s shamelessly sparkly, Swarovski encrusted design packs a truly patriotic punch, plastered as it is with the colours of the Union Jack. Aside, however, from the fantastical and perhaps, rather frivolous ArtBoxes on display, there are several which address such serious issues as childhood impotence, isolation, loneliness and neglect, issues which Childline seeks to combat, giving ‘millions of vulnerable children, the one thing they need most: a voice’.
Following an exhibition in Trafalgar Square, the ArtBoxes can now be seen in a variety of landmark locations across the capital, including The Tower of London, The Royal Exchange, The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Borough Market, Carnaby Street and Victoria Embankment until 17th July.
The original telephone kiosk, introduced in 1936 was designed to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of King George V, it is fitting then that BT’s artbox project coincides with the celebration this year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Selected ArtBoxes will be auctioned on 18 July at a VIP Gala auction at the National Portrait Gallery while the rest of the collection will be available to buy online via an Ebay auction.
For the full list of locations and designers of the BT ArtBoxes, go to www.btartbox.com.