Centrale & Whitgift have partnered with artist Laura Nevill as part of her campaign entitled #lLetsDoLondonBetter, which aims to raise profiles of local artists and generate support across the UK for creative community to flourish and support the arts industry.
In this latest instalment, Laura has curated a selection of five local artists and commissioned each to create artwork which showcases and celebrates Croydon and its culture. From the vast music scene to the immense pride its residents have in the area, each artist has interpreted what they love about Croydon in their own style, creating a huge artistic showcase outside Allders and along George Street.
To add to the showcase, each piece of art has a QR code next to it, which when scanned brings the artwork to life through the creative talent of animator Alex Hill.
Find out more about each artist and their work below.
Alec, part of the very fabric of Croydon, an artist who uses canvas or concrete. Alec works in mixed media to create striking portraits and explore ideas. For ‘Love CR0’ he has blended the traditional form of painting with digital editing taking inspiration from his graffiti background. Alec often uses the street to communicate, as it blurs the boundaries of a traditional art gallery and is accessible to all. Reflections are important to Alec and with ‘Love CR-Zero’ he wanted to celebrate the diversity and beauty in Croydon, which is where our strength lies. Alec says: “How do we know we exist if we cannot see our reflection?” Alec wants to empower the people of Croydon and lift them up: “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognise, accept, and celebrate those differences”.
Tim Easley is an award-winning illustrator & designer from Croydon, best known for his bright palette and bold graphics. The artwork draws from the influence that Croydon has had on the UK and global music scene over the decades, and how everyone is connected through music!
Rich Simmons (1986) is leading the next wave of artists pushing a new era of Modern Pop Art. Inspired by pop art and vintage comic book artists, Simmons achieves his bold, graphical comic style through detailed stencils and spray paint, techniques heavily rooted in street art. The most intriguing influence in Simmons’ paintings is his integration of Renaissance techniques in composition, golden ratio and Fibonacci. Euro News went as far to describe Simmons’ work as ‘Pop Art inspired by da Vinci’. Simmons’ use of colour and commentary is bold and unmistakable. His irreverent sense of humour invites his audience to question taboo topics. Magazines describe the work as ‘something that will make you blush’ and ‘Simmons paints like a punk rocker’. As a self-taught artist and storyteller, that outside-the box mentality and a willingness to write his own rules is clear. Rebellious and controversial but fun and humorous.
A doodle artist with an overactive imagination, Frankie Curtis is a Croydon native with a passion for creativity. Inspired from a childhood of watching cartoons, this influence shines through her work – giving her a unique ‘doodle’ style that has been developed over several years. Her work is an explosion of vibrant characters with a sprinkling of humour that can be enjoyed by all ages. Croydon as a whole was the main focus for this piece. Looking at some of the iconic buildings such as the clock tower, 50p building and the Saffron tower, as well as the strong rail network, it provides easy travel across the city and South East England. Some of Croydon’s successful residents have also been added, people like Stormzy, Kate Moss, Wilfried Zaha and a school friend of mine, Joshua
Buatsi to help celebrate some of our local talent. Bringing pride and also some colour to the area, making it a more positive thing to be from Croydon.
BAREFACE is a Croydon printmaker and illustrator fuelled by the vibrant spirit of Pop Art, Street Art, and 80s American pop culture, delivering a powerful message: Never forget your inner child, embracing creativity and joy.
This project is part of a wider long term partnership across a number of URW destinations including Croydon, Westfield London, Westfield Stratford and Coppermaker Square.