Ten years ago I made a row of six ‘buildings’ out of white shoe boxes which I placed on the top shelf of the kitchen dresser. Using a scalpel I cut out rows of squares over the blank facades and called it Manhattan. I lit the boxes with night-lights in jam jars – probably safer to use battery-operated night lights- but they weren’t available then. I used to light them when we had friends for supper and after a few years of gathering dust and grease I chucked them out.
As the Arab Spring began to gather speed, images from Yemen, were regularly shown on our screens. I loved the traditional tower houses found throughout Sana’a and other towns in Yemen and began to see that they would make the most wonderful boxes. This inspired Backlane Designs which emerged as a project in the winter months of 2010. Coincidentally, and as the design was taking shape, two friends went to Sana’a and brought back more images of the wonderful buildings. My neighbour Helen is a dab hand with a craft knife: each Christmas for the last twenty years she has cut her own Christmas cards. So we gathered images and she made up samples and then we found a local manufacturer and three months later City Lights Yemen was delivered. It has since been followed by City Lights Warehouse which was inspired by the industrial buildings that line the docklands and canals throughout Europe.
We will be giving a set of City Lights away on December Ist. If you would like to be included in the draw please say and state whether you would like City Lights Yemen in brown or white or City Lights Warehouse which is brown only. All names will go in a hat and be drawn by Helen and we will notify the lucky blogger by email.
Meanwhile you can if you wish look at the product on http://notonthehighstreet.com