Excited by the results I was getting with the wine boxes, I wanted to use some of my other Rude Kids stencils, but they were all at a different scale. The wine boxes were tiny, nearly half the size of the stencils I use for canvases.
If i wanted to use these 40cm stencils i would have to build the box to house the kids and frames.
The weather was cracking, my newly built studio with skylights and glass became an oven. If it was 30 degrees outside, it must have topped 40-45 in my hot box. Sweating bullets, I put a set of tressels up in the garden and made myself a little outdoor workshop, manufacturing larger replicas of the wine boxes in nothing but a pair of shorts.
The wine box wallpapers were laser-cut ply and with these larger boxes I could experiment with different plastics. I ordered a mix of opaque and translucent acrylics, worked out the scales and sent to files off to Aaron, my laser-cut guy. While I hand-cut all my large-scale stuff for the street, Aaron’s my go-to guy for laser-cutting at smaller scale or on weird substrates.
During the coming months, plastics were dead-dropped from cars on suburban streets, both Aaron and myself socially distant, masked, gloved and liberally coated in hand sanitiser. None of the processes were quick, nearly everyone shut down. Materials were scarce. The blinds i’d ordered to cover the skylights and keep the sun out never came. I cooked, I cut, I melted.
In the end, I made a set of four kids with different wallpapers and little framed Dotmasterpieces. I also made one extra (an Indigo of course) and decided to make one customisable. I made three extra frames and portraits and fixed a split baton onto the back of each, with a corresponding baton mounted above the cut-out of Inky. This way, I could swap out the portraits depending on how i felt each day – like a rehang in a gallery. I hinged the top of the box so the frame could be swapped out through the top and bought a couple of stands so the alternative works for the box could be displayed beside it.
Although the trickiest piece i made during lockdown, the Indigo fluro gallery box is my favorite. With the changeable lights and changeable works it’s a work that is never static.
All the box works were quite an experience to make, involving electronics, plastics, laser cutting and gold leaf. Driven by the success of my little prototype, the plastic lights, gold and spray paints create little dioramas for my Rude Kids to live in.