The Classic UK Phone Booth Gets a Creative Twist
Artists transform more than 80 of Britain’s iconic K6 red phone boxes into graphic works of art.
This summer, BT (British Telecommunications) launched its “BT ArtBox” public-art exhibition in support of ChildLine, the UK-based helpline for children and young people. The exhibition allowed some of the world’s most creative talent to transform more than 80 of Britain’s iconic K6 red phone boxes into graphic works of art.
Among the artist participants: experimental artist Denis Masi, who collaborated with signage and display specialists Creative FX.
Creative FX helped Masi create his ArtBox by utilizing its Uniform Grenadier 6-color solvent printer to output Hexis Express Wrap vinyl printed with stark black-and-white photography. This was overlaid with a textured vinyl to create the appearance of a rustic exterior frame, and the thought-provoking words, “Recognisable, Reliable, Real, Renewable” were applied on the four corners of the box, while “Decisions, Dreams, and Desires” were applied around the bottom. The result: a strikingly eerie phone booth.
For Masi, this project reflects his own sentiment in recent years. “I’m fascinated by creating pieces that reflect the social power experienced at special public events and festivals,” he explains. “The Jubilee brought together thousands of people all sharing the same experience, and likewise the Olympics will create a kind of glue or social capital.”
“There are so many reasons to celebrate Britain this year, and this project is definitely one of them,” says Sean Davis, director of Creative FX. “Denis is an incredibly talented artist who works with a multitude of different media. With such a diverse range of talented artists, it’s great to see how they all individually treat the iconic blank canvas. And that’s the beauty of using vinyl: You can take a canvas, be it a wall, a car, a shop front, or in this case a phone box and transform it into something amazing.”
Following the display in public spaces across the UK, the phone boxes are scheduled to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s auction to raise money for ChildLine.