Katie Anderson

Artist based in South West Scotland; interested in people, places, materials and collaborative practice.

Tag: phone box

Thinking. Processing. Phone Box.


I LOVE a good phone box. Especially a Telefon box. Castletownsend, if you’re interested. They also have some trees in the middle of the road that I should have photographed. 


I created something magical. Unfortunately it shouldn’t really have been black.Image


An irish adventure, around the wilds of West Cork in wilder weather.Image

Some interesting rocks that we found whilst finding a Hill Fort.


There’s only one way to properly cheer me up these days… take me to a phone box…

Site visit to Wigtown this week. It was a bit of a blur. If I’m honest I spent most of the morning trotting after Adrian (the book festival organiser), carrying half a mug of coffee around the town – it was probably the best way to get introduced to the sort of essence of what will be the festival in a few weeks time. I managed to fit in a few phone boxes too. Bladnoch – now also known as the BEST phone box I have seen in an Aaagee. I’m in love. And Causeway End – about the most rurally sited phone box I have found on more recent explorations locally. The door is held shut with a big round stone, the poster inside informs anyone who notices that it too has been snatched up by the community council before it could be spirited away by BT. But, I don’t want to give to much away – needless to say, I’m much more excited about my project’s relocation to Wigtown for ten days as part of the annual Wigtown Book Festival (if you haven’t heard of it you really probably should have done…) There is plenty of work to be done! DSC_0978






Causeway End Box - in the process of a loving restoration, note the new door!

Causeway End Box – in the process of a loving restoration, note the new door!

A few thank yous

Mum (Artist Assistant, part time courier, kitchen table publisher). Matt. Leah. Jan. (Thank you all for an amazing opportunity – I hope I made the most of it (sorry about the artist’s talk thing – thanks for being the first one). Tonia. (the calm front when the police show up). Susan and John Gilbert. Joan Dodd and the other members of the Clarencefield Community Council. The open minded, friendly faced inhabitants of Clarencefield – an amazing wee village. Rob Airley: electrical genius. The Voices: Dave. Anne. Lesley. John. Paula. Ruth. Graeme. Eileen. Will. Everyone who turned up at Stormont Hall and showed both kindness and patience when I hit a sheer wall of panic. Thanks for not walking out. Friends, family, Stovies, locals, EAFS trekkers, Suvi from Finland (long distance award) who trekked to Clarencefield to stand in an old phone box and listen. Anyone who has emailed me a photo of a phone box or related information in the past six months. All I’m missing now is the phone box collection in the back garden…



It’s been an intense week. 

Out of that intensity is slowly emerging clarity.

OBJECT. My obsessions centre on an intimate exploration of objects. To truly know an object, to create that familiarity that only comes with time.

SITE. Without site the object is homeless. This is a re-connecting, a re-using, a re-examining. RE- (this prefix will appear more frequently than ever in this blog in the near future)

MEMORY. This informs the object. Informs the intimate, the curiosity. 


Some of the highlights in Clarencefield:-

Joan Dodd. She sits on the local community council. She couldn’t have lived it down if folk had turned up from out of the village to see an untidy phone box. She also keeps the bus shelter (on her patch). From her concern about the phone box’s fading paint – over the weekend an appreciation for the peeling paint emerged, as a representation of the dying object. She didn’t think environmental art was for her until she came to know the phone box project.

Two ladies recounted their experience to Fiona (the fantastic volunteer) of both squashing into the box together and laughing at memories gone by of their times as girls squashed into phone boxes.

To Suvi goes my utmost thanks. Having travelled from Finland to witness the Festival, on her last morning she caught the various public transport required to drop her in Clarencefield, in a short gap before the return journey. It was great speaking to someone with a similar passion.


The Longest Queue in Clarencefield

The longest queue in Clarencefield. I have since heard rumour of other, shorter queues throughout the weekend. Someone waiting behind my granny in the dampening weather on Friday gave up eventually (my apologies), but to all 11 of you in that queue on Friday – thank you for your patience! 

If you didn’t catch it at Clarencefield (you may be off my Christmas card list) – there will still be a chance to catch the next evolution of the project as part of the Wigtown Book Festival at the end of next month – just enough time to get organised!


Is there a critic in the house? My repost from the Commonty

Here’s a first; thought I’d repost my commonty blog on here and attempt to merge my two blogging styles and personas somewhat more
It’s been a bit quiet on the commonty this weekend – largely because everyone was outside – absorbed by the environmental arts festival, and so I thought on offering up some reflections on a long weekend saturated with amazing art, discussions, explorations, journeys (both literal and metaphorical perhaps?!) and discoveries.

We would welcome reviews etc on the things you may have witnessed over the course of the last four days – what were your highlights (both artistic and otherwise)? – but in the meantime I would like to offer up a few initial reflections of my own – and others – gathered along the way.

Cinema Sark – John Wallace and Prof. Pete Smith – image nabbed from Twitter @LizzieDinnie

‘ How does place archive memory, how does memory archive place?’ Robert MacFarlane as quoted by David Borthwick in a shed in Cairnsmore. (As part of some of the great discussions held over the festival)

About looking. Art in the environment as a catalyst for looking at the environment (especially when you can’t find the art, but can find lots of beautiful land/scape) as suggested by Will Levi Marshall whilst on top of the wrong hill on Sunday. (It was a fantastic wrong hill though)

‘The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.’ RD Laing as quoted by Mike Bonaventura – on the scope and potential of environmental art discussed in the Robert Burns Centre last night.

James Winnett’s Fountain – as photographed by festival photographer Colin Hattersley

In some ways, part of the journey to these works became an extension of the work itself. The more out-of-the-way sites had a sense of pilgrimage.

There was a great sense of a collective sharing of the festival experience. I left all the discussions with more questions. There is a lot more to be understood. 

Perhaps we may not be able to change the whole world – but possibly out little impacts on a small scale – our ‘operating in the cracks between over-government’ still give us the potential for change (following on the climate change conversations in Stormont Hall).

As a participating artist – the positivity, the keen and the curious nature of folk and the welcoing attitude of festival organisers, contributors, audience members, visitors and the community/inhabitants was truly inspiring.

D&G has not just the potential but the capability to produce a festival on a par with the more art central regions – ‘be part of something amazing’ – so contributions are invited ‘if we don’t send messages, they won’t be recieved’ (thanks for that one Ted Leeming) and apologies for anyone mis-quoted or incorrectly paraphrased – it’s been a long few days!

Queues outside a phonebox – who’d have thought? Thanks to everyone who visited Clarencefield this weekend

Voices from the Phone Box for EAFS

It has been announced! Image


My phone box has joined the line up for EAFS – the first Environmental Arts Festival in Scotland, taking place across D&G 30th August to 2 September and on into the Autumn. 

Phone Box at Clarencefield Village Latitude 55.00505 Longitude -3.42246

The brochure is out now, and a copy can be gained by sending the festival your details (or if you ask me nicely I may give you one!). There is far too much by way of exciting art, events and so forth around here, so I highly recommend not missing it!

If that weren’t enough I shall also be giving an artist’s talk on the Friday, in Stormont Hall in Gretna, between 4 and 5pm. Please come!