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Secret street artists offering a Dinky Door into new worlds


By Alex Spencer


Dinky Doors with their minature in the Market Square, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Dinky Doors with their minature in the Market Square, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Portals to other worlds have been cropping up in secret locations around the city, thanks to an anonymous art collective called Dinky Doors.

Dinky Doors with their minature in the Market Square, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Dinky Doors with their minature in the Market Square, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

The tiny gateways include the Reality Checker which eagle-eyed visitors to Parker’s Piece may have noticed, and the Teleport-O-Matic machine that is tucked away between some very well-known phone boxes.

An anonymous spokesperson from Dinky Doors told the Cambridge Independent: “We decided to build these portals to help bring more joy to the world after being contacted by the Supreme Leader through our TV. They can take you to other, happier, worlds or, in the case of the Teleport-O-Matic, it can transport you three yards for every three pence you insert.”

There was also a glow-in-the-dark Dinky Door outside the Roll On Blank Tapes shop on Gwydir Street, but it was stolen.

One of the creators behind the project said: “We can’t reveal our names as we’re not sure that installing street art without permission is strictly legal. But we hoped in this time of miserable news that we could bring a smile to people’s faces. We know children, especially, like interacting with the doors.

Dinky Doors with their minature in the Market Square, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Dinky Doors with their minature in the Market Square, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

“What we are doing is a little bit rebellious but we would never cause any damage by installing the portals – they are not permanent structures.”

In fact, the artists were sad to discover how fragile the doors were as their first attempt at the Teleport-O-Matic was destroyed by vandals shortly after it was installed.

“We were sad because we put quite a bit of work into it,” they admit, “but part of the doors’ appeal is they won’t last forever. We hope as many people as possible will enjoy the portals while they can. And we have found ways to make them more robust now.”

The most recent creation took about two months to make but the pair have plans to install more around the city.

Dinky Doors with their minature in the Market Square, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Dinky Doors with their minature in the Market Square, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

“Our ambition is to make a whole trail of Dinky Doors around Cambridge that people can follow. But at the moment we enjoy it when someone stumbles on the doors and is intrigued.”

The tiny door on Parker’s Piece was inspired by the Reality Checkpoint lamppost.

“What if someone lived inside it?” said one of the team.

“And then if he went on holiday, would people have to check reality themselves? So we put a dial on it that people can move according to how they feel. Lots of people walk straight past without noticing, but kids usually stop and have a look. We just want it to delight people.”

To see how the doors were made or to hear the message delivered to the artists from the alien Supreme Leader, who demanded the portals be built, visit dinkydoors.co.uk or @dinky_doors on Twitter.



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