Turnpike Toaster | Artist - The Toasters. Installed May 2013

It's an almost surreal situation, standing outside Turnpike Lane's Cafeteria, with two thirds of an urban art group of iconic status, whilst they concur on the superior quality of Milkshake offered at said eatery. And as the sun bathed our outlook onto a half-shuttered shop front, having the Toasters 'warming up' for a two-evening session of paintbrush and spray-can divinity seemed something Marcel Duchamp would wholeheartedly have approved of. Maybe Henri Matisse also.

A month-or-so emailing back and forth, with 'Toaster A' and 'Toaster B', had facilitated this altruistic event. Much like Shepard Fairey the year previously, when bona fide street artists donate their time, for free, to the benefit of your community, one can observe the truly friendly and charitable power unique to street art. Such benevolent behaviour was also extended by the owners of Cafeteria, who TAG applaud for their open-minded attitude, and permission to paint.

And so it was, as the first brush strokes were applied to lowered shutters, Turnpike Lane could stand alongside New York, LA, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Sydney, Berlin, and Stockholm as locations endowed with a humble, yet classic, kitchen appliance; elevated as a recognised icon to the counter-culture - The Toaster.

Fastidiously re-applying, and reinventing variations on this very focussed theme, Toaster A, Toaster B and Toaster D have been building a magnum opus of street works, since 1999. Before the term Street Art had even been truly coined, their cleverly displaced device was popping up across the UK. In time, their two-slot muse would inspire a generation.

Day Two saw Toaster A holding the can. With the closing light, it was a privilege to observe the fever of creativity, as a pocket-symphony of form and colour evolved. Impulsive decisions were made on the fly, as his toolkit of vari-scaled toaster stencils allowed for any number of compositional possibilities. Hence, as is the current mode of Toaster production, wonderfully organic landscapes began to flow from the deconstructed elements of the original genesis point.

Embedding this unique artwork within N15, TAG were briefly permitted honorary status as Toaster T - as, with fading light, we pitched-in with brush and stencil-steadying. Every passing word from those returning from a days work was a positive one. Which ultimately is why we do this - to make the every day journey a lighter one. And you don't get more everyday than a toaster!

All artwork, text and images © Turnpike Art Group 2022.