Tinsel and Twinkle kidnap banker in latest exhibition

Tinsel and Twinkle on opening night. Pic: Emma Marvin

A banker was kidnapped and held hostage in Hackney recently – all in the name of art.

Artists Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton, both 33, staged a kidnapping of a banker and held him hostage to form the centre piece of their exhibition’s opening night; Mini Retrospective.

The two artists, who first met at the age of nine over a pot of poster paints at school, handed out bespoke ‘Tinsel and Twinkle’ bank notes to the public throughout the evening. People were asked to share their opinions on the global economic crisis by writing on them. The notes were then pinned around the banker to form an installation.

Explaining the theme behind ‘kidnapping’ a banker, Twinkle said: “The global economic crisis has been at the forefront in the media for such a long time now. We just really wanted to do a piece about that. Something that would allow people to really talk about how they felt about it and share their thoughts.”

She went on to explain: “It’s a retrospective, spanning the last six years of our careers.

“We’ve both been living and working as artists in London for the last 12 years now. I think it’s quite good every now and then to stop and look back at what you’ve been doing and have a new focus of where you’re going.”

Social and political themes dominate the show, with the artists responding to perceived injustices.. One piece depicts Victoria Beckham as Queen Victoria receiving a pink Chanel handbag from Barack Obama – depicted as an African king, while Simon Cowell as Prince Albert cringes in the background.

Blown-up black and white photos adorn the walls with images of ‘The Fairies Band’, a group they used to perform together in and write music for.

Ten per cent of sales from the artists’ work will be donated to the homeless charity, Shelter.

“Shelter has been dealing directly with people that have been affected by the current financial crisis.” Tinsel said.

“It was really important to have a charity involved because the whole ethos of the Twinkle and Tinsel bank is that you don’t just take, take, take. You actually have to give something back. If we are going to make any money from the show, it’s important to give back to people that are directly affected by what it is we’re making our work about.”

Tinsel and Twinkle have worked together for many years, collaborating and exhibiting their art works including identical degree shows at their universities; Tinsel at Goldsmiths and Twinkle at Kingston University.

Catch the last few days of the Mini Retrospective, which  runs until July 19 at Hackney Downs Studios, 5-9 Amhurst Terrace, Hackney, E8 2BT.
Gallery hours: Thursday – Sunday 12-6pm or by appointment.

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