Boxed Extension

Boxed Extension
1979, wood , Plexiglas, and metal
box: 2 1/4 x 3/ 1/4 x 20 1/8 in.

Although I had been doing basic woodworking since the late 60's it was not until the mid to late 1970's that I started to apply those skills to my creative work. At the time it took the form of making boxes, shaping wood in various ways, and investigating different ways of joining things together.

The Boxed Extension uses the concept of physical mechanical extensions and their portability to express the ideas of change and movement. By mechanical extensions I refer to objects that physically extend like a common household extension lamp with scissor-like construction, which allows the user to extend the lamp forward and back to adjust the light source. The extension elements I made for the Boxed Extension are housed inside the box thereby making the object self-contained and portable. To open the box you swing down the hinged door located at one end and slide out the Plexiglas cover. This gives access to two components, a primary and a secondary extension piece. The primary piece is held at one end by a pivot mechanism that allows it to be lifted up and swung out. Then the secondary piece can be fitted into it thereby completing the assembly of the work.

The Boxed Extension, as well as the other three-dimensional work I did at the time, directly informed my two-dimensional work during that period. It was a merging and sharing of forms that ended up enhancing the quality of both. In the end the piece does not have a function, but the aesthetics of the object, the reference to change and movement, and the basic fun of opening and assembling the pieces make the object special to me.

- Brian Mains, 2018