Here’s The Story Behind London’s Iconic Tumbling Telephone Box Installation • Out Of Order

Georgie Hoole Georgie Hoole - EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Out of Order

Kingston’s iconic telephone box sculpture ‘Out of Order’ has been in place for over 30 years.

It’s not as well known as, say, the London Eye or The Shard, but down in Kingston you’ll find a London landmark that makes both of those two seem like the newbies they are. The ‘Out of Order’ installation, which consists of twelve tumbling telephone boxes, has been in place on Kingston’s lovely Old London Road since it was first installed in 1989. Having had a quick zhuzh up back in 2019, it’s one city landmark that shouldn’t be overlooked! (Feature image: @cocotinede

David Mach beside his Kingston sculpture, 'Out of Order.'
© David Parry

After all, what’s more quintessentially British than a red telephone box? The piece was created by David Mach, one of the UK’s most successful artists and a former lecturer at Sculpture School in Kingston. He’s known for his large scale collages and sculptures all over the world, but this one is particularly special to him.

David Mach beside his Kingston sculpture, 'Out of Order.'
© David Parry

Mach has previously said of the installation: “I love these boxes and isn’t it funny that even in these times and although they were removed from the British landscape, I feel they still bind us as a nation.” So beloved is the sculpture, that to celebrate the refurbishment and 30th birthday celebrations, Kingston-upon-Thames threw a big street party to welcome ‘Out of Order’ back. Well worth spending an afternoon seeking it out then, isn’t it?

For more London-based art, check out this almighty list of exhibitions to see in 2021.

Also published on Medium.