Do you remember the days before smart phones, mobiles and even landlines, when private telephone conversations had to be conducted inside a public call box? Perhaps you can recall a particular box – the clank of its door and the ever-present stink of urine inside? Can you remember the heavy dial and the struggle to push a coin into the meter before the beeps ceased? Who were you calling? How were you feeling? Were you alone or was there a queue of people waiting outside, party to your every word?
With their promise of privacy, public telephone boxes were all too often the sites of assignation or heartbreak. And yet what was really being said? Was it ever original? Like the smell, could there be a universal conversation that replayed itself in, and was absorbed by, these spaces? Ellen Bell and Jo Hamill’s new installation Call Me, at Upper Settle’s now decommissioned telephone box and reincarnated as The Gallery on the Green, poses an elegant, yet whimsical response to this question. A written collage of notable literary telephone dialogues, Bell and Hamill’s transparent book-like structure plays with the notion of a line of communication that is sometimes clear and other times obscure.
Jo Hamill is a Senior Lecturer at Teesside University and is represented by Platform A Gallery. The project is funded by Teesside University’s Research Fund.
The exhibition will run from 27th June to 14th August 2015.
To see some of our past exhibitions please got to the online gallery page.