Aylesbury BOX Company | Cardboard Keeps Youngster on Track
Is it true that you need lots of expensive materials to get your work displayed in art galleries? Could simple corrugated cardboard get you an exhibition space?
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Cardboard Keeps Youngster on Track


Cardboard Keeps Youngster on Track

What do you do when you love train travel, but can no longer get on board? This was the dilemma facing an 11-year- old girl from Worthing during lockdown. As an avid train fan, July came up with a creative solution. It just required her mum to source some large cardboard boxes.

With a supply of large cardboard boxes, July recreated a Gatwick Express Train. It included carriages, seats and even an entrance ramp for her wheelchair-bound doll. The corrugated cardboard train was painted in the correct colours and then for further authenticity, sound effects were added to provide announcements.

Award-Winning Cardboard Art

Having devoted so much time and attention to detail in transforming large cardboard boxes into a work of art, they entered it into the Royal Academy of Arts Young Artist’s Summer Show. It was amongst the 392 pieces shortlisted from the 17,700 entries from children aged 5 – 19 years.

The creation then went on to be awarded the President’s Prize in this year’s Summer Show. Usually, the winning works would be displayed in The Royal Academy of Arts for the public to view. Social distancing has put this on hold, but some items may be on show when the gallery doors reopen.

Since completing the Gatwick Express train, July has been motivated to continue her creative streak. She has now added cardboard Southern Rail and Thameslink trains to her collection.

Maybe July should be introduced to Chris Gilmour. He is also a fan of turning cardboard into realistic, detailed transport. His cars, mopeds and bikes are part of a fantastic collection of life-sized objects, recreated in cardboard.

Cardboard Sculpture Exhibition

Another young artist using corrugated cardboard for his sculptures is Leo Bignell. In 2019, he submitted three pieces into The Royal Academy of Arts Young Artist’s Summer Show, including a human skeleton. All three were shortlisted. He was then asked to exhibit his work in Turners, an independent menswear store, located in Colchester.

Leo had been inspired by Nicola Burrell, an artist who created art from found materials, including corrugated cardboard. Leo had already used cardboard as an art material, but following a workshop with Nicola at his school, the potential of readily-available and cheap boxes was realised.

Cardboard Art Inspiration

The Royal Academy of Arts is an artist-led institution where many of the world’s finest paintings have been exhibited. Corrugated cardboard is not the traditional material of choice for many artists, but it has the potential to be the medium of choice in the future. These works by July and Leo show that with great imagination and dedication, the humble cardboard box can become award-winning art.

Maybe you now have an idea buzzing through your head. Can you find a spare box that has yet to go into the recycling bin? If you can develop your vision in cardboard form, we would love to see the results!

Cardboard Engineering

At Aylesbury Box Company, we know that corrugated cardboard is a robust and versatile material. We apply our cardboard engineering expertise to the creation of bespoke boxes. If you are looking for a company to design, manufacture and print retail packaging and e-commerce packaging, get in touch on 01296 436888 or enquiries@abcbox.co.uk to discuss your requirements. We are happy to provide a quote and samples.

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