‘He’s only 12 inches tall. I found him at a car boot sale’: John Adams’s best phone picture

The artist on creating a tableau with a toy and some cheap plastic plants

Artist John Adams worked with assemblage boxes for years – eccentric cabinets of curios in the tradition of Joseph Cornell – before moving on to larger dioramas. An ex-teacher, Adams wanted to think bigger. In his studio, he sets up a group of objects on a table, like a still life.

“I have a board at the back, which I can paint or drape material over,” he says. “For this piece, I added a box with a hole punched through, and put this doll in. He’s only 12 inches tall. I think I found him at a car boot sale, or a toy shop. After that, I decided to make a garden: they’re mostly cheap plastic plants from Aldi.”

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