The Traveling Bookbox Show

An unusual touring exhibition of book-themed shadowboxes.
“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dioramas – scenes-in-shoeboxes that often try to capture the essence of books – are a popular kind of elementary school project in the US. I didn’t even know what a diorama was until I moved to Northern California from London in 2011, and someone told me I make grown-up versions for a living.

In 2016 I decided to dedicate some time to this old-school art, books in boxes. I wrote a list of the books I’ve loved. I reread some, nearly ruined a few by watching the movie version, all the while looking for particular scenes and feelings that had stayed with me over the years.

In truth what often dawned, was a realisation of how wrongly I remembered the details of each book, but how truly I recalled the lasting impressions. So my slightly-wrong-book-memories have nonetheless woven their magic and meaning into the making of my worldview.

The result was the The Traveling Bookbox Show, an unusual touring art exhibition of sparkling dioramas. Debuting in San Francisco in June 2016, it has now delighted kiddies of all ages in wonderful spots around the world.