A ‘knotted’ post box which has appeared in Margate is one of three created by ‘sliding house’ artist Alex Chinneck.
The sculptures, entitled ‘Alphabetti Spaghetti’ appeared overnight in London, Margate and Sheffield. They resemble traditional red metal pillar post boxes which have been tied in knots.
The work continues Chinneck’s reputation for creating playful public artworks that transform the everyday into the extraordinary. In this new series of sculptures, which were all installed in one night, the artist turns these familiar every day functional items into works of art.
Red pillar post boxes are a cultural icon in the UK and there are over 115,500 across the country as a whole. A Royal Mail post box stands within half a mile of over 98% of the population and their design and colour help create a quintessentially British landscape. No variation to their design is allowed, except in very exceptional circumstances.
The appearance of ‘Alphabetti Spaghetti’ in Margate forms part of Margate NOW – an ambitious and dynamic festival of art, events and performances. This year, in response to Turner Prize 2019 at Turner Contemporary, the programme runs from September 28 – January 12.
The knotted post box, which will be available to view throughout the festival, is part-funded by the South East Creative, Cultural and Digital Programme: a partnership between Thurrock Council, Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council, Medway Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Colchester Council and the University of Essex. This is funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.
Installation was managed by local firm WW Martin.
Each of the three places chosen for the sculptures has a connection to the artist. Chinneck made his first public artwork in East London in 2012, installing 312 identically-smashed windows in a derelict warehouse.
His second project was in Margate, in 2013, where he created a sliding house with curving bricks, windows and doors on a residential street.
He is currently working in Sheffield, preparing to create a major new public art trail of sculptural red brick chimneys, inspired by the city’s industrial heritage.
Alex said: “I want as many people as possible to be able to see and hopefully enjoy my work. I’m excited to unveil this series in three places simultaneously which have a personal connection for me. We’re also looking forward to touring the knotted boxes to other locations across the UK.”
A limited edition print featuring an illustration of the knotted post box has been produced in collaboration with Telegramme Paper Co. and is available to buy via the artist’s website (www.alexchinneck.com) and via Turner Contemporary in Margate from September 27.
Saw this last night while driving past, had to stop and get out to have a look and see if it could be stolen, unfortunately it was stuck down.
“A Royal Mail post box stands within half a mile of over 98% of the population and their design and colour help create a quintessentially British landscape. No variation to their design is allowed, except in very exceptional circumstances.”
If that’s the case, why are there so many different varieties of post boxes around? Did you know that the last of those iconic red cast-iron postboxes rolled off the production line 40 years ago in 1979?