Is this the most British protest ever?

PUBLISHED: 10:04 08 May 2017




Disgusted by Brexit, one artist explains why she chose custard creams to convey her anti-Brexit message


The protest biscuits came out of the morning of the Brexit result. We’d been showing a biscuit artwork I made at the Grrrr! art pop shop in Kentish Town which was a custard cream, under a glass cloche, with the words “rock ‘n’ roll” painted on it.

I am a huge fan of outsider art and folk art – the everyday, the nonsensical, the obsessional.

In the disbelief of that morning, where everyone was talking about Brexit I abandoned plans to do a quick acrylic portrait of David Bowie and started painting biscuits with protest slogans on them. I wanted to do something, and for the moment this was the only something I felt could do.

Once I got going it was quite hard to stop. I painted them each day and displayed them on a table by the window in the shop. I eventually cast them in resin which brightened the colours and made them look like sweets, or jewels. The custard cream has a fine, filigree surface which can stand endless variation. Odd, I know. It’s a custard cream.

The protest biscuits have been shown at an exhibition at the ArtHouse Wakefield and in LA as part of Art Basil. Fresh art biscuits are now being shown at Grrrr! mk II, the pop up art shop I run with Pandora Vaughan. There are USA Anti-Trump Oreos too. There’s also an EU custard cream on MP Sarah Olney’s desk at Westminster. At some point, they’ve got to make a difference, surely?

Sian Pattenden started at Smash Hits at just 18 and worked for NME, Select and the Guardian writing about pop music and culture. She has written six children’s books and is currently running the pop up art shop Grrrr! To find out more visit Grrrr! at 44 Ashdoown Crescent, London, NW5 4QE

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