BENEATH THE LOOKING GLASS
Phone boxes are now almost obsolete. Dirty, uncared-for pieces of street furniture, covered with graffiti and the remains of advertising flyers. The last place any of us would want to be is in a phone box. But I’m drawn to these decaying and unloved objects which have been an ubiquitous part of our urban landscape for more than half a century, finding in their glass and metal surfaces endless possibilities for visual imagery. Close-up shots using a macro lens result in images with an ambiguity of scale that conceal the context of the subject matter and reveal a world of colours, forms, textures and mysterious patterns. My aim is to create beautiful, fascinating and intriguing images out of this unlikely subject matter.
There is a temporal context to the images. Advertising posters and flyers are repeatedly put up then torn off or pasted over with newer ones, building up layers of paper, paint, tape, the odd hair, dirt and plastic. Periodically, someone will make an attempt to clean them up but no sooner have they finished than the whole slow process of accretion starts again. Even time itself lends a hand as layers peel and fade in the sunlight. The boxes themselves are disappearing as, slowly, they are removed from our streets for good.
“Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the doorway…”