‘Reach Out’ – A Collaborative Art Project 

by Claire Hankey and Shilpa Agashe at the Clifftown Telephone Box Museum, Essex, UK

April 2024. 



“Everywhere around them, life was happening without their knowing, and their lives were also happening in the presence of all else. All existences were touching lightly as air and leaving invisible fingerprints.”


― Juhea Kim, Beasts of a Little Land


What happens when we reach out across these little gaps in our parallel lives and make a connection?  

Claire Hankey and Shilpa Agashe, two UK based artists, forged a creative connection when Claire reached out, across the gap, with the idea of creating something together. 

They collaborated on a series of artworks in the summer of 2023 and submitted a proposal to the Clifftown Telephone Box museum, in 2024, to display new collaborative artworks.

Red telephone boxes, once an iconic symbol of British culture, have waned in popularity due to advancements in technology. However, the Clifftown telephone box has undergone a transformation into one of the world’s smallest museums, serving as an instrument of storytelling in the Clifftown Conservation Area of Essex.

While the artists used digital communication extensively throughout their collaboration, the art itself was created by exchanging old fashioned postcards through the post.The telephone box, an enduring reminder of analog communication, seemed the perfect site to create an installation that allowed the artists to tell their story of collaboration and dig deeper into other stories of human connection particularly via handwritten communication. 

Reach Out is an art installation that celebrates the enduring power of human connection, emphasising the significance of tangible forms of communication such as postcards and letters. It features original, collaborative artwork and a curated collection of personal letters, handwritten notes, and vintage postcards, generously donated by friends, family, and sourced from antique shops.

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