Twinkle & Tinseltown

Artists Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton take to the streets and stop traffic with their credit crunch artwork

Photos by Kris Myhre
Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton have been carving a name for themselves in east London's art scene at Stella Dore, alongside the likes street artists Kid Acne, I-LIB and Pure Evil. Since the recession forced the gallery to close, they've taken their art to the streets, and yesterday they were giving away limited-edition screenprints from their credit crunch inspired artwork...

Dazed Digital: We hear you gave away free artwork – where did the idea come from and how did people get their hands on it?
Tinsel and Twinkle: Our previous gallerist Stella Dore actually helped us to come up with the initial version of the idea about two years ago, and we just kept it in the back of our minds. We wanted to do something which would take our work out of the gallery and to a wider audience. We loved the idea of using a bit of a trickery, making a bit of a practical joke as a way of getting our artwork out to people who may or may not know who we are and what we do as artists, so we decided to dress up as traffic wardens and hide the artwork in parking ticket bags! The screenprint in the parking ticket bags is an image of a Woolworth's empty shopfront which has closing down posters in the window, we've changed the posters to read 'It Was The Best of Times It was the Worst of Times' – the famous line from Charles Dickens. For the two of us the work is a direct response to the recession – not only it's impact on the nation, but how it's been dealt with in the media. Recessions can be very difficult, but they can also be a time for positive change and growth. We thought that producing a free mini-print as a very large edition would help to promote that message. And so the initial bad news of a parking ticket is replaced with a positive response to some free artwork!

DD: There have been a few free art events in London recently – what do you think that says about the art community?
TT:
All of the pop-up galleries show that recessions can be a really positive time for creatives. It can give artists a platform to exhibit their work on the high street where normally chain stores would be, it works well for the landlords and for the community because shops are not left lying empty, and are cared for by the artists. It shows a resourceful and entrepreneurial side to the art world. Taking something bad and making it good, making something from nothing...


DD: Last week you were both exhibited alongside Banksy and Tracey Emin – it must be great to be in such good company! What future shows do you have planned for after you've hung up your traffic warden uniforms?
TT:
The exhibition is called Being Human. It's in a brand new gallery called The Tank Room which is underneath a school in Elephant And Castle. The space was discovered by one of the teachers, the school received funding to refurbish the old tank room to make it into a gallery, it's been an amazing and positive project for the school. It was brilliant to exhibit alongside such big artists! There was also work by prisoners and the students on display too. We will be going back to the school to do some workshops with the students in response to the exhibition. We have lots of future shows planned! We are currently looking for an empty shop space to do an exhibition fairly soon, and we are planning a very ambitious show next year, completely new work and a very interesting venue!
More Arts+Culture