Good Will

Good will evening comes to Stroud in early December. There’s so much community spirit here, you may find it disturbing. I was new in town and wanted a piece of the love.


I really enjoy giving things away with no return, it is very uncomfortable for everyone when giving and receiving are out of balance.

Most of the shops give away food or drink in exchange for a minute’s perusing. Thinking about what people want, the only thing I could think to compete with was money. My budget was about £10, so it could only be pennies, which obviously people hate. I decided to try and increase their value by making them in to one-off’s.

With a bit of help I painted 120 in the week leading up to good will evening. They were of varying quality and originality so I distributed them blindly. I put ‘free money’ signs and arrows up around town and the studios had never been busier. All the pennies were gone in a hour.





Like any good young opportunist, naturally I capitalised on the idea and have been slowly inflating the price of these pennies, from free through £2.99 to £20. It fluctuated randomly every day for a while. Right now you can pick up one of these babies for a cool £100. edit: The 2017 AAF saw them selling at £275.


penny portraits by holly english