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Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton Kidnap a Banker!

If there were two artists that embodied the spirit of Run-Riot, they might just be Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton. Ex band mates, founders of the Pushing Pussy record label and with Tinsel now running A-Side B-Side gallery in Hackney Downs Studio, the two are constantly subjecting both the art crowd and the general public to their interpretations of what it is to be British, to be a Londoner, to be an artist. Given the headlines over the last week or so, their latest stunt involving kidnapping a banker couldn't come at a better time....


RR: You guys have known each other since you were kids- how much pocket money did you get when you were little?

Twinkle: It started off with 20p a week when I was quite small which I was allowed to spend on penny sweets. I remember when it got raised to 50p a week, I felt so rich!

Tinsel: I remember getting 10p every Saturday which I would spend at the local sweet shop ‘Robin’s Corner’, that was when I was 6 or 7. By the age of 9 or 10 I think it was £3 per week or so.


RR: What was your first paid job?

Twinkle: A weekly newspaper round for the local freebie paper in Leamington spa...and babysitting. I hated the paper round so much, let's just say I wasnt very good at it and it didn't end well...

Tinsel: Washing dishes in a local restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights. I was 15 and pretended I was 16 so I could get the job, I got found out a few months later.


200 million by Tinsel Edwards


RR: How much was the first piece of art you sold, and who bought it?

Twinkle: It might be when Tinsel and I were students we did some work for a kebab shop on the Kingsland Rd...most random commission ever! I think he wanted cheesey paintings of London landscapes and instead we insisted he had huge garish blown up images from The Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins...poor bloke, looking back on that! But I dont think we were paid too well either mind you...

Tinsel: I had completely forgotten about that - But yes I guess that is it!


RR: What made you decide to kidnap a banker?

Twinkle and Tinsel: Bankers are up there with politicians when it comes to public hatred at the moment, in particular according to the press, and so our kidnapping of the banker is meant to be a very tongue in cheek response to this. What we really want to create within our exhibition is an interactive space for people to tell us how they actually feel about what is going on, how it has affected them, what ideas people have for how we should be dealing with the recession and so on.

We want to provide people with a platform to express their thoughts, feelings and opinions on the global economic crisis, we thought kidnapping a banker would be a playful and fun approach to it. Bankers are not the nation’s favourite people, and have come to symbolise our financial problems, rightly or wrongly so. Similar to our previous interactive art projects: Opinionated Objects and Traffic Wardens, the kidnap is a lighthearted way of looking at a serious issue, there will be no cruelty involved; he will only be held to ransom for a few hours!



We are producing our own currency to establish a small co-operative where ideas and thoughts replace money. When guests arrive at our private view, they will be given a Tinsel & Twinkle bank note. We are asking people to write their thoughts onto the bank notes and these will be pinned around the banker forming a visual display which will remain for the following two weeks of the show.


Jesus was born so shops could make more profit by Twinkle Troughton


RR: How much money would it take to make you happy?

Twinkle: I all honesty I am actually already generally happy regardless of any financial situations that may arise. That's not to say it isn't ever a challenge though and I have situations in my life I would like to improve on for sure. I would need more income to do that, for artists money does buy you time. But I certainly dont believe money equals happiness, if people are already unhappy inside money won't fill the gap and if people are selfish with their money or feel isolated because of what they have then I believe it can create real unfulfillment. BUT I don't see anything wrong with earning money at all, it's amazing when people know how to generate it, however it's what people do with their money that really counts.


Tinsel: Painting makes me very happy, if I had enough money to paint everyday I think I would definitely feel a lot calmer and at one with the world.



Catch the retrospective of Tinsel and Twinkle's work here and keep up to date with their news on Facebook here.

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