Commuters passing through East Croydon today (Friday, June 23) will have noticed a new addition to the colourful sign opposite Boxpark.
A six-meter light box with ‘Welcome to Croydon’ printed on it has been installed at the front of the hoardings and will be lit every night, while messages promoting unity and diversity have been written along the installation. They read: “Comm(unity)”, “It’s what we do that defines us” and “Diversity: the art of thinking independently together”. Created by artists from RISE gallery, the installation was commissioned by Croydon Business Improvement District (BID) in a bid to encourage visitors and residents to explore the borough beyond East Croydon station. The new additions are part of the project’s second and final phase after the first stage saw 39 colourful plastic panes and a digital-style sign, which reads Explore Croydon”, put up in May.
Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison, owner of RISE gallery in George Street, said: “Croydon has the most diverse population of any London borough and that is great and something we should be celebrating. More than 210 languages are spoken in Croydon which is pretty amazing, and that diversity is our treasure. I wanted to created something which got across the message that although we are all different in our views and backgrounds, we can all work together. The fact that we work together as a community is what defines our town centre, so we want people to know about Croydon and feel welcome here.”
The installation isn’t the only new display in the area – a flight of steps in Surrey Street was given a colourful transformation on Wednesday (June 21) by Brighton-based group Art and Believe, which covered it in bright stripes. Mr Zuchowski-Morrison hopes the Explore Croydon installation will be in place for at least five years until the hoardings are removed. He would still like to see his idea of painting the names of Croydon wards including New Addington, Addiscombe and Shirley on each of the coloured panes, which represent the boroughs 39 districts, come to fruition.
Source: Croydon Advertiser