Ian Ritchie Architects are among leading artists and designers from around the world that were invited to re-style the iconic red telephone box – a full size replica of Giles Gilbert Scott’s classic K6 telephone box – into a work of art to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ChildLine.
The 80 ‘BT ArtBoxes’ were on display in high profile locations across the capital in the run up to the Olympics (16th June till 16th July 2012) all in aid of raising over £1 million for ChildLine at an auction at the National Portrait Gallery on 18th July 2012.
Our Cu BT ArtBox was on display at the prestigious arch entrance from Piccadilly into the Royal Academy from June 16th to July 17th 2012, occupying a smaller archway next to an original K2, and opposite the K2 wooden prototype.
The entire surface is copper leafed alluding to the idea of the 2p copper coin to pay for the call, the copper cable for transmission and the ‘copper’ who was not there at the time of need. The Tudor crown on all four sides is gilded gold.
The concept is to transform the perception of the iconic red telephone box into a sculpture of precious metal – revealing the preciousness of children through ChildLine. It will also convey a sense of gravitas to the occasion.
The auction of 15 ArtBoxes took place at the National Portrait Gallery on July 18, with the remainder auctioned on ebay. The Copper Artbox was sold for £4,800.
It has been a collaborative effort inside the studio, and we are grateful to gilding advice from Susy Kennard, and to Esther Rantzen OBE, the founder of ChildLine and patron of the BT ArtBox project and those at ChildLine for such a wonderful idea and to inviting us to contribute.
Royal Academy of Arts, London