Cllr John Crawford, Mayor of Tenterden was invited by our neighbouring Rolvenden Parish to open a repurposed Telephone Box as an Art Gallery.
Cllr Denise Curtain, Chair of Rolvenden Parish Council, together with the local community welcomed the Mayor and Cllr Mike Hill along with the artist Rebbeca Morse to the grand opening on the 3rd June.
Like many villages, Rolvenden had several old red telephone phone boxes that were no longer used. These popular local landmarks in Rolvenden, though previously neglected, have been imaginatively repurposed. They have been restored to their former glory, using traditional materials and the skills of local tradesmen.
The first red telephone box conversion in Rolvenden Layne, was incepted by local TV producer Rob Pursey, together with Amelia Fletcher. It now holds the UK’s first permanent Sound Museum.
The second red telephone box in the High Street is now an Art Gallery titled “Modern Love”, which is an amazing achievement.
The original inspiration to restore the phone box belongs to Rebbeca Morse who trained at Chelsea College of Art. She enjoys success both as an illustrator and artist in creation of standalone art installations.
The permanent repurposing of the phone box both celebrates the art of conversation and mourns the effect that mobile devices have had.
Her two sculpted human figures occupy the High Street phone box, giving the busiest part of the village a new visual landmark, and giving the much-loved old phone box a new lease of life.
Alongside Rebbeca’s sculpture, a mural by celebrated local artist Sam Cox, known as Mr Doodle, decorates the interior of the phone box, creating a unique public artwork.
This project has received invaluable support from Cllr Curtain, Rolvenden Parish Council, together with fundings provided by Persimmon Homes, KCC Cllr Mike Hill and Ashford Cllr Kate Walder. The local craftsmen Jordan Prince and Darren Pilcher were very successful in restoring the telephone box back to its original glory.