Five local Croydon artists will have their works unveiled at 2pm this Saturday (3 December) as part of the council’s regeneration of Ashburton Park.
Paintings by Grischa, Margaret Playle, Georgia Walters, Stephanie Weston, and Jennifer Shellard will be on display. All have direct links with the park and surrounding area.
The artists will be on hand to see their handiwork made public at the event, which is open to anyone to attend.
Their giant prints will cover sections of the hoardings around the former library building, which is to be restored and brought back to life after a suitable tenant has been chosen.
The council will soon be investing over £1m into the project, and once re-opened the building will be made available to local community groups for a wide range of different activities. This is part of the council’s multi-million pound regeneration of the surrounding area, which aims to breathe fresh vitality into the community.
The hoardings project is partially funded through the council’s ‘ward budget’ scheme that gives the councillors in each ward £6,000 (rising to £12,000 in 2017) between them to spend on locally important projects. Cllr Maddie Henson chose the hoarding art as the scheme deserving her support.
A competition was run earlier this year to choose the designs. Five entries were selected to be reproduced as they all represent different aspects of the park.
“While we get ready for the old library building to be restored it makes perfect sense to use the site hoardings as a canvas for local artists to display their work. Croydon is increasingly getting a reputation for vibrant pieces of public art, and this proves it’s not something that’s restricted to urban town centre walls. This project really brightens up the park and the new hoardings are just the first sign of the exciting things to come.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning
The tender opportunity closed last Friday (25 November) and a decision on which bid will be successful is expected to be made by March 2017.
Stephanie Wilson: “My connection with Ashburton Park is that my grandad grew up in the area and used the park on a regular basis. He is always telling me stories about all his memories in the park and how it always brings back so many happy memories for him. I myself now live in the local area and enjoy the park and will have many memories to share in the future. I look forward to being able to use the old library building once all the work has been completed.”
Georgia Walters: “I study at Oasis Academy Shirley Park, just up the road, so Ashburton Park has been part of my daily commute for over half a decade – it’s also where I now spend my breaks at sixth form, as it’s a nice quiet green space to relax and study. I also sometimes use the park’s natural features as subjects for my photography, as I’m studying the subject. I’m excited to see what the old library becomes.”
Grischa: “I am a local artist who has been living in Addiscombe for two years with my family and we visit the park almost daily.”
Margaret Playle: “I have lived near the park for 30 years and my family and I have always enjoyed the park and old library. Before I moved in this lily [pictured] was growing in my garden. Each flower blooms for one day only.”
Jennifer Shellard: “I live over the footbridge from Ashburton Park – physically and emotionally connected. When I first moved to Woodside I frequently visited the library, getting a feel for my local community. I still regularly stroll in the park or use it as a cut-through to the shops. As a nature lover I have always admired the extraordinary collection of trees; I observe their dramatic transformation through the seasons. When the library sadly closed and the park kiosk stood neglected, the trees, like sentinels, remained steadfast. The trees, together with the beautiful old convent are the two key features that really give the park its unique character.”