Relics as Inspiration for Art

Inspiration strikes at curious moments. I recently came across an old relic: a phone booth. It sits on a corner, in front of a laundromat, near a bustling downtown. I’ve probably driven past it a hundred times or more. On this particular day though, given its proximity to downtown, a thought struck me. I wondered how many wild nights came to their conclusion from that phone booth.

Like I said, the phone booth is a relic. In a bygone age, it would have offered an out. In a time when phones weren’t carried in everyone’s back pocket, this phone would have offered solace or refuge. This isn’t the kind of phone booth that you can step into, it’s a later model. But still, how many collect calls had been placed there? How many times did someone reach deep into their pockets or purse, hopeful for the loose change that could connect them to the voice on the other end of the line? The circumstances are countless. A walk of shame after a night of partying, waiting patiently on the bench next to the phone for a ride.

I allowed these thoughts to permeate my brain for the day, then I took a late night walk back to the corner. This time, with my camera in tow, taking photographs of the booth. With the laundromat in frame. from another angle, with the church up the street behind the booth. It would have been a beacon in the dark of night or the early morning hours.

I recall making calls from phones like these, even if I can’t recall the circumstances. It’s a life experience many just can’t relate to anymore. The dread of putting the phone too close to your mouth, or worse, the unseen piece of chewed bubble gum someone had left in the ear piece.

There is inspiration here for art in old relics. I’ll see where I can take these thoughts, how to turn them from thoughts to creation.