Jeremy Deller is the latest artist to have a go at designing money, but you have to be in Brixton to be able to use it.
The 2004 Turner Prize winner recently unveiled his psychedelic rendition of the Brixton Pound note, a local currency launched in 2009 by the community group Transition Town Brixton in an attempt to revitalize south London’s economy by supporting small businesses in the neighborhood.
The Brixton Pound website emphasizes that the currency was conceived to “work alongside,” rather than replace, the official British Pound Sterling.
Deller’s colorfully designed B£5 note features bright graphics on the front and a quote by Karl Marx on the rear.
Charlie Waterhouse, creative director of the design agency This Ain’t Rock’n’Roll that assisted with the realization of the project, told Dezeen, “These are the most amazing currency notes ever produced, no exaggeration.”
He explained, “They’re beautiful, mysterious, spiritual and politicizing.” Adding that “In two sides of paper it provides the most compelling response to the rot that emanates from the Square Mile that I’ve seen since we were all told we had to love under the yoke of austerity.”
Over 200 small businesses reportedly accept the currency, which supports the neighborhood by being exclusive to small shops, thereby encouraging residents to buy local.
Previous banknotes have pictured illustrious former inhabitants of Brixton, including Vincent van Gogh, the novelist C.L.R. James, David Bowie, and NBA star Luol Deng.
The limited-edition banknote by Jeremy Deller is available from local businesses participating in the Brixton Pound scheme or from the Brixton Pound’s online shop.
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