The Last Day of the ArtBox hunt – part 1

Day 13 and lucky for some, I hope.  Its starts well as the sun is shining.  I have 6 or 7 boxes on my list.  The doubtful one is at Stratford and I don’t know if I’ll have the time to get there.  The other six boxes are in Kensington and around Hyde Park.  I also break a rule and make this a trip only to hunt ArtBoxes.  But its worth it, having come so far.

I arrived at The Albert Hall just as two coach load of tourists unload, around 10am.  And their coaches were blocking my view of the Albert Memorial.  As I had pre-planned a shot of it with the ArtBox in the foreground I was very frustrated.  How long were they going to be?  The first coach driver said they were moving in 5 minutes which they did.  And the second driver offered to pull his coach out of shot. What a great guy!

Ring A Royal Phone Box, designed by Timmy Mallet

I still had to shoot with the tourists but mostly they didn’t care.  And I had some fun results as you’ll see in the slideshow.

Next up were the four boxes around Hyde Park.  My favourite was at Achilles Way, called City of Birds.

City of Birds, designed by Pete Bishop

The ArtBox that surprised me was called The Greatest Love of All.  And it was covered with the words of Whitney Houston’s song.  None of the photographs I’d seen had captured the fact that the lettering was made from children’s plastic alphabets – the kind used as fridge magnets when a child is learning to spell. The box made you want to touch it.  And that is what one passerby did.  The words of the song are very powerful and I heard the tune as I read them. As this project is about raising money for the children’s charity Childline, I was very moved by this design.  And it was from here that I found my view of Marble Arch.

The Greatest Love of All, designed by Stuart Semple

The other surprising discovery was not about the box but about where it was placed, at Speaker’s Corner. When I grew up in London there were always crowds at weekends, to watch the speakers here.  This Sunday morning it was empty.  Where are they all now?  On twitter? On-line?

My final box was on Old Quebec Street, near the Marble Arch M&S and Selfridges.  And it really made me laugh.

Inverted, designed by Terence and James Woodgate

These cones and street signs are exactly how I found them.  Were they arranged by fellow ArtBox collectors? Or by Health & Safety conscious council officials?  I don’t know. But who ever did had a great sense of humour.  Thank you.

I’d found all the six boxes in the area.  What I wanted to do next was return to Trafalgar Square to find some shots to close this journey with.  I’ll save those for another post – part 2

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