Voices arrives in Wigtown

by Katie Anderson

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Causeway End phone box is highly distinguishable by it’s white door frame (a recent replacement by the community council when the box was taken over). Push the rock to one side to enter, but please replace it upon leaving, lest the door bangs in the wind.

Wigtown Book Festival is underway – it arrived in a flurry – the tents have gone up, the shops have been stocked, the potholes have been filled (yes, seriously) and Astrid Jaekel’s work has transformed the windows of the County Buildings, to much admiration. The car parking is ridiculous to the point of hilarity, Reading Lasses is full, and suddenly reading books on street corners is terribly trendy.

After my own whirlwind of a week (leaving a trail of destruction behind) – Voices from the Phone Box has been reinstated. Originally a commission for the Environmental Arts Festival, the project – part audio collection, part sculptural installation – is taking residence in two phone boxes; Bladnoch a working box next to the distillery, and Causeway End – owned by Newton Stewart Community Council and located on the road from Wigtown back to the A75. There is also an exchange point for the two boxes located within the sci-fi portal that is the Time Machine, a separate installation created by Norrie, Christian and a hard working team in the County Buildings.

Running 24/7 (theoretically) the work plays out conversations with local residents from bone china telephone handsets.
 
Find out more about the Book Festival’s visual arts goings ons here
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The Bladnoch box is strangely magical – and also, a working box! So well worth an explore…

Pause for a moment, and listen.

“I Belong 
Wigtown. Port William. Whithorn. Newton Stewart. Sorbie. Mochrum. Elrig. Windy Hill.  Garlieston. Isle of Whithorn. 

Bearded Ham. Something primal. Traffic Lights. Invisible people. Hairdressers. I was ay’ wantin t be a l’rry driver. Mountains of Mourne. 

The flying butcher. Magic Hour. The kindness of folk.  There was always plenty o’ work. It’s all gone no’. BOS 648. Still living in the past here. A modern life. I never even knew Whithorn existed… 

I’ll never be a local.”

 
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Enter the Time Machine and prepare to look in unexpected places. If you are interested, it’s called a Dictograph.

Thank you to everyone who has given me some time in the past few weeks to contribute a voice for the work, without you it would be meaningless.

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