Art Michaelmas 2020

Cambridge’s mysterious miniature doors

The ‘Love from Above’ door is located near Whewell’s Court of Trinity College. [Credit: Samin Moghimiasl]

Dinky Doors are intended to raise a smile, pique the curiosity or trigger the imagination of those lucky enough to spot them. These miniature doors, dotted all around the city centre, are the creations of a team of Cambridge-based anonymous street artists.

“We’re firm believers that little things can make big differences, and so our (perhaps ambitious) mission to *SAVE THE WORLD* was born,” a member of the Dinky Doors team told The Churchill Mallard.

The doors are inspired by locations of particular interest to artists in the team. One door, located on Cambridge’s Downing Street, is a mini replica of 10 Downing Street. ‘Teleport-O-Matic machine’, a replica of a teleportation machine, is located in the Market Square and is disguised between two telephone boxes. ‘Reality Checker’, found on a lamppost at the Reality Check Point in Parker’s Piece, displays a dial ranging between ‘Splendid’ and ‘Feisty’. When the needle is at ‘Feisty’, a battery-run mechanism makes a sound from inside the lamppost. 

We wanted to do something that showed that there was still some delight, wonder and happiness around (amidst the terrible news).

Dinky Doors

The team’s most ambitious door to date is the ‘(Ye Olde) Knight Rider’ located in Wandlebury Country Park, which was created in May this year. It uses multiple moving parts and artistic techniques, ranging from welding and leatherwork to etching and image transferring. 

In such distressing times, Dinky Doors became an antidote to the terrible news people have been receiving. “We wanted to do something that showed that there was still some delight, wonder and happiness around; something that if spotted could make you smile and perhaps forget that things can appear a bit bleak.”

‘(Ye Olde) Knight Rider’ is the latest work of the Dinky Doors team and is located in Wandlebury Country Park. [Credit: Dinky Doors]

It is very easy to miss these tiny doors, which are a little hidden away, but they are a delight to discover and their subtlety brings about their charm as well as an element of surprise.

“One unexpected effect we’ve noticed, when we sneakily eavesdrop on people looking at one of our doors, is just how many strangers find themselves chatting to each other about them. It is lovely to see people get talking to strangers, often enthusiastically sharing what they know about all the other doors,” said the Dinky team.

Depending on their intricacy, the doors take roughly two months to create and are around three by six inches in size. The team spend time polishing, repairing and sometimes even replacing the doors using sturdier metal materials, since some are damaged by the weather or by members of the public. The team has had to pause their creations recently due to COVID-19, but have grand plans to create more and are eager to resume in due course.

Keep an eye out for these miniature doors which will bring you “a dinky dollop of unexpected delight.”