£78,000 Lottery grant puts Crystal Palace on sculpture trail

Arts group Invisible Palace has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £78,400 for their project exploring the Sculptures of Crystal Palace Park.

Joseph Paxton’s master work has left much to consider, including the bold sculpture of the architect’s head

The project is inspired by people’s responses to the remaining sculptures in the park – many of which were originally installed when the Crystal Palace was moved from Hyde Park to Penge Common in 1854 and the parkland around it developed.

But others pieces of park art have been added in the 160-odd years since, and they will be included in the project too.

According to Invisible Palace’s first survey of park users, the statue of Guy the Gorilla, the star attraction of London Zoo in the 1960s and 1970s, is a firm favourite with children, while all ages climb and sit on the Sphinx.

At one time the sculptures that looked out across the terraces represented important areas for Britain’simperial trade, such as Turkey, India and South America, a world view that is an important part of the history of Crystal Palace Park.

The sculptures themselves have lead complicated lives. They can be moved from place to place, damaged, sold off, and even lost.

People who get involved in the project, which begins this month, will have the opportunity to join archive, gallery and site visits to gather resources, evidence and inspiration.

The ideas and information gathered will contribute to a walking tour of the sculptures and two introductory leaflets, one designed by and for adults with learning disabilities.

Get a head of the crowd: the public are being invited to contribute to the project

Invisible Palace will work closely with two other organisations, the Paxton Green Time Bank and the Croydon-based Willow Learning for Life.

Commenting on the award, Invisible Palace’s Sue Giovanni said: “We are really looking forward to starting this project in September and working with local people to discover what excites them about the Sculptures of Crystal Palace Park.

“This award will enable Invisible Palace to develop resources and activities over a number of years, thanks to National Lottery players.”

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com
  • Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
  • Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as well as BBC London News and ITV London
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named the country’s rottenest borough in 2020 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine – the fourth successive year that Inside Croydon has been the source for such award-winning nominations
  • Inside Croydon: 3million page views in 2020. Seen by 1.4million unique visitors

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Activities, Art, Croydon parks, Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood, Crystal Palace Park and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply