Electric Trees and Telephone Booth Conversations
© Martin Boyce

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Electric Trees and Telephone Booth Conversations 2006
  • Scottish Art
This dramatic and atmospheric installation incorporates various sculptural elements, which together create a disconcerting, yet somehow familiar, environment. The vocabulary that Boyce has employed is derived from his discovery of a photograph of the concrete trees designed by the Martel brothers for the Art Deco exhibition held in Paris in 1925. According to Boyce these trees “represent a perfect collapse of architecture and nature”. From them he extracted a grid template that has since become a basis for all aspects of his practice. Here, the combination of a free-standing, coloured climbing frame, space-age phone-booths, suspended lighting and his own ‘concrete’ trees, creates a modernist theatre-set that transforms the gallery environment into a sinister playground on a dark night.

Glossary Open

Art Deco

Taking its name from the major exhibition of decorative arts held in Paris in 1925, Art Deco was a design style that epitomised the 1920s and 1930s. It was characterised by geometric or stylised shapes and bright colours.

Installation art

An art practice developed in the second half of the 20th century that broke away from the view of a sculpture as a singular object to be looked at. Instead, installation artists create an environment that may surround the viewer. Many are temporary or created for a particular location.


A general term used to describe the various movements in art from the late 19th century to the 1960s, encompassing a broad range of styles.

Art Deco, Installation art, Modernism


  • Acc. No. GMA 5022
  • Medium Mixed media installation
  • Size Variable dimensions
  • Credit Purchased 2008