Artists respond to Croydon’s changing public spaces through a series of newly commissioned billboard posters at Wandle Park’s community garden and pond. Navigating an urban centre can be claustrophobic and confusing experience.
As cities and populations grow, the space for retreat and reflection diminishes; leaving only cramped walkways between home and work. In such places, public space can offer a salve, providing room for gathering thoughts and achieving a critical distance from the flow of power and commerce, shaping the city. In collaboration with Fungus Press we are working to install a series of posters in Croydon, aimed at discussing and celebrating the importance and potential of its public spaces, as antidotes to the sometimes oppressive and perplexing urban experiences. The posters will be text-based and intend to fufill Ian Hamilton Finlay’s description of the conrete poem: as ‘a model of order, even if set in a space which is full of doubt’.
Curated by Oscar Gaynor and Alice Cretney
With thanks to Arts Council England, Croydon Council, Sam Cotterell, Oscar Gaynor, Luke Nairn, Godai Sahara, Kitty Clark, Adam Bridgland and Lee Johnson, Phoebe Baines, pea proposals, Marie Jacotey, Esme Toler, Jemma Egan, Jaione Cerrato, Åbäke, Leah Clements, Ed Hill, Alex Brenchley, Bryony Gillard, Emily Pope, An Endless Supply, Harry Meadley, Ben Cain, Emily Speed, Tom & Simon Bloor, Emily MaCartan, Michael Dryden, Joseph Curran, George Chinnery, Barnaby Lee, Paul Myers, Chris Mewies, Alastair McKinlay, Paul Harrison, Jack Kew, Thomas Smith, Andrew Dickinson & Friends of Park Hill Park.
ABOUT // Park Hill Park’s walled garden structure:
Designed and made by artist & woodcaver Esme Toler.
Poster commission for June & July 2017:
‘Trying to describe the square’, Oscar Gaynor, 2017, Ink jet prints on A4 coloured paper
At an art performance event in North London two young girls confuse the usual hierarchy of art events. Halfway through a performance they demand to know why the artist and the crowd is doing what they’re doing in their neighbourhood. Inspired by Georges Perec’s book ‘An Attempt to Exhausting a Place in Paris’, these are several attempts to describe the event.
Oscar is a writer and editor living and working in London. He runs the Fungus Press poster project.
ABOUT // Reeves Corner structure:
Designed by George Chinnery this structure uses visual signifers from its immediate environment, including the ‘House of Reeves’ furniture shop and the Reeves Corner roundabout’s white picket fence. The structure also references the recent history of the area, commemorating the Reeves’ family furniture shop, part of which was sadly burnt down in Croydon’s 2011 riots.
Poster commission for April, May & June 2017:
Edition of four hand-finished silk screen posters
Spray paint, silk screen and gouache on 160gsm paper
59.4 x 42 cm
Artists Adam Bridgland and Lee Johnson collaborated on a series of posters (titled Art is Language) last year for Art Language Location, exhibiting 18 anagrammatic text and image works in conjunction with Kettle’s Yard. CUPASOUP continues their collaboration, reminding the public to take a break and relax.
Increasing urbanisation of public spaces means that, now more than ever, we need respite, to recharge our batteries (not just our phones), and to take stock, and the solitude of relaxing with a cup of tea – or Coffee, Hot Choc, Herbal T or CUPASOUP – is nourishment for all our souls. But what do we do when we meet a friend or colleague? We ask, “would you like a drink?”, or “shall we grab a coffee?”. Sharing a beverage is bond-making, and coming together – especially considering Reeves Corner’s recent history, and the current seismic political upheavals – is pertinent to our times.
Adam Bridgland lives and works in Cambridge, graduating from the Royal College of art in 2006 (MA) and Norwich School of Art & Design in 2002 (BA). Bridgland has exhibited widely, including Courtauld Institute of Art, Curwen Gallery, The Poetry Society, London, Aspex, Portsmouth, Peacock Visual Arts, Dundee, Kolvenburg, Billerbeck, Germany. His work is held in many public and private collections including The British Museum Prints and Drawings Collection, University of Cambridge Kettle’s Yard, Los Angeles Natural History Museum, Courtauld Institute of the Arts East Wing, and The De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill on Sea.
Lee Johnson lives and works in London, graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2001 (MA) and Leeds Metropolitan University in 1997 (BA). Johnson exhibited in the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool in 2010-11, and has exhibited widely including Tate Britain, Barbican, Whitechapel Gallery, London, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, ArtTower Agora, Athens, Greece, Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Melbourne, Australia. His work is held in public collections (including University of Cambridge Kettle’s Yard, UAL) and many private collections in UK, France, Netherlands, Greece and Australia.
Designed by Sam Cottrell. The park features two billboard type structures one opposite the pond and another at the community garden.
Poster commission for August & September 2017 by Andrew Sunderland:
‘Not the future’
‘Not the past’
x2 digital prints on adhesive PVC, 118.9 x 84.1 cm
“I made these 2 posters, because for a while now I’ve been interested in the effect of political rhetoric on the collective conscious; specifically how language takes effect through its repetition and memetic proliferation in culture. Recently, the over use of these words actually began to undermine themselves, almost as if the more they are used, the more they completely change their own context, becoming symbols of meaningless rhetoric and corporate sloganeering.
The 2 posters take a popular quote from Tony Blair in 1997 ‘the future, not the past’ which seemed to nicely sum up the moronic ideology of contemporary politics to both want to move forwards into the precarious automation of techno capitalism, whilst also regressing into the cozy nostalgia of nationalism.
So ‘not the future’ or ‘not the past’ are equally moronic statements, but hopefully their repetitious rhetoricalness might somehow contribute to the slow melting away of a ‘strong and stable’ politics.
Andrew Sunderland is an artist working with sound and sculpture, based in London. He studied at Goldsmiths (2015). Recent exhibitions include ‘Schizoid Cyberia’ (Gossamer Fog, 2016) Muscle Memory (ASC, 2016), ‘at the slow party copies sync towards zero’ (David Roberts Art Foundation, 2015), Red Mansion Prize (residency at Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, 2015). He is currently working on an exhibition for Gossamer Fog in October 2017.
// Pick up a Fungus map at the gallery or at any of the poster locations