Out of the Box, 2018
Unrealised public artwork in collaboration with Francesca Anfossi

In October 2018 artist Francesca Anfossi and I were shortlisted for a new public artwork at Agar Grove, Camden, London.


Our project finds inspiration in the simple and ubiquitous cardboard box as both a material and as a symbol for inventiveness, creativity and mobility. As well as creating new sites for recreation and play, our ambitious proposal will provide new spaces for social enterprise and learning, facilitated initially by the artists and their neighbouring community project at Rochester Square.

We propose a series of beautiful and curious structures that wrap, fold, and arch across the Agar Grove estate. These structures will be reminiscent of the cardboard forms that inspired them, though new and contrasting materials will give them a dynamic and playful aesthetic, inviting play and interaction from the local community.

There will be three types of structures to support different kinds of activities. A stage, a table and a shelter. The primary materials for our installation will be steel and concrete, pigmented and sculpted to recall memories of homemade and whimsical cardboard constructions. Most importantly, these materials will be robust enough to invite participation from the local community for learning, relaxation and play.

As well as memorialising the movements of residents into their new homes, we propose to create spaces for new action. Our ambition is that these structures will be used regularly by residents for community events, learning, and play. Vitally this will be for both children and adults, to complement the existing and proposed structures for play and recreation. We will catalyse and facilitate this by drawing on our extensive experience in arts education and through a close relationship with the neighbouring facilities at Rochester Square, a social arts space, founded by Francesca Anfossi and run in collaboration with Sam Belinfante and other local practitioners.

We want to develop new spaces that allow inspiring events to unfold regularly on the site, at first initiated by the artists and established partners in the local community, then eventually owned and facilitated by the local inhabitants themselves.

Once built and installed, the first year of the project will consist of a regular series of workshops incorporating a broad range of activities such as cooking, filmmaking, performance and ceramics. These workshops will be supported and delivered by key local community members and organisations, as a satellite of the burgeoning program of activities at Rochester Square.

Out of the Box proposal poster (PDF)

Thanks to Francesca Astesani, Will Bellamy, Marta Fernàndez and Polimekanos.