Kids Company and The Bryan Adams Foundation are delighted to host “Shoebox Art“, a unique auction and exhibition of work by leading artists this past March.  Each shoebox was a recreated room from each of the artist’s childhood to relate to the work of the Kids Company.

Damien Hurst — “When we are no longer children, we are already dead.”

David Bailey — “My childhood was spent mostly in a shelter, because of the Blitz in the East End.”

Dawn Howley — “Living with domestic violence isn’t a one-off experience, it’s a way of life, the fear is always present.  Growing up Dad would constantly attack Mum, and sometimes us kids if we got in the way.  We lived in constant fear.  At night we would lay in bed anticipating his arrival.  There was a certain way he slammed the door and we would al know what was in store.”

Jeremy Deller — “This is my bedroom from age seven or so  My two biggest obsessions at this time in my life were outer space and Glam Rock which were conveniently combined in the persona of David Bowie.  Now of course I am more grown up and have ditched the obsession with outer space…”

Don Brown — “Well, it’s not any specific room but it could represent a corner of a room from my childhood.  I was thinking about a place where I used to keep collections of things that I found, and where I used to make things.  As a child I was fascinated by the mystery of preserving and copying things, so my room was always full of feathers and stones and fur and materials for making things like plaster and clay and paint.  Thinking about how to give an impression of my childhood room and starting to gather things together, I was irresistibly drawn by the beauty of these eggs that were sitting in my studio — I held birds eggs in very high esteem as a child — also the different sizes and the way they fitted together brought back to me a sensation, an odd intimation of infinity that I believe most children feel and that I called ‘The Big Little Feeling’.”

Grayson Perry — “This is an approximation of my childhood bedroom in which I slept between the ages of eight and fifteen.  It was the scene of many dramas real and imagined.  In my mind it was a steep-sided valley where the rebels, lead by my teddy bear, Alan Measles, were based.  The candlewick bed-spread served as a fieldscape for guerrilla warfare against the invading Germans who were a thinly veiled metaphor for my stepfather.  Every available horizontal surface would have been crammed with model airplanes ready for dogfights and every square inch of the walls covered with pictures of planes and cars.  Alan was an invincible race car driver and fighter pilot and many of his greatest victories were played out on the windowsill, me kneeling on the bed, narrating and supplying the soundtrack.  This room was also where I discovered I was a transvestite, trying on my sister’s and my mother’s clothes.  Under the bed I kept the comic strips I drew in which a secret agent type called Rif Raff got involved in adventures that usually ended with him having to dress as a woman and be tied up.  In many ways this room was the workshop in which my artistic imagination was forged.”

Chapman Brothers — “We had a nightmare that everything was going to turn out alright.”

Ronnie Wood — “This is the room in my first council house when I was about eight years old — full of musical instruments, art materials, and art school students…friends of my two older brothers.”

Natasha Chambers — “I was running to get away.  The witch and the darkness on my heels.  They can’t have me or my box.”

Daisy de Villeneuve — “I wanted to recreate my teenage bedroom, growing up in the late 1980s-early ’90s.  I recreated almost exactly Laura Ashley wallpaper with yellow curtains and miniature posters of teen idols such as Michael J. Fox and Matt Dillon.  PLus, I added personal details, such as tiny copies of family photos, with me and friends.”

Mat Collishaw — “I grew up without a TV so I made a lot of collages when I was young of what I thought the world was like.  Naturally my views were somewhat distorted as my material was mainly derived from comics and magazines.  The world I imagined out there was on hallucinogens and steroids.  Not dissimilar to the classic Richard Hamilton collage.”

Tim Braden — “My bedroom was very small (I don’t think there would have been enough space for these playground toys), but I liked climbing up the ladder into my bed.  My Mum painted the walls with murals of Snoopy on his kennel and the Mr. Men — I was Mr. Greedy.”

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