You don’t need to go far to discover genuine art, says KEN TOWL after visiting the latest exhibition at the Croydon Art Space
Aurelia Duplouich found herself stranded during the first covid lockdown, an artist without artist’s materials.
She was telling me about how the pandemic shaped her practice and that of Anima!, the artists’ collective of nine women to which she belongs.
“I had no paints, none of the materials I work with. So I looked in the kitchen drawer…”
At this point I expected her to find a knife, perhaps, to carve potatoes, something along those lines.
“… and I found a roll of clingfilm and I wrapped myself up in it.”
It turns out that wrapping yourself up in clingfilm is somewhat easier than unwrapping yourself.
All nine members of Anima! have a piece or two on display in Room 3 of Paul Hall’s bijou Croydon Art Space gallery at 41 Lower Addiscombe Road. The diversity of the pieces reflects the diversity of these north London artists. I particularly liked the sharply executed monotypes of falling or dancing female figures by Jax Hall.
Other artists at the gallery’s Abstract World exhibition mainly come from south London, mostly from Croydon or somewhere nearby, and it is to curator Hall’s credit that he has gathered together such a variety of high quality abstract work.
Theresa Ferrier lives around the corner from the gallery and her confident geometric works add style to Room 2, the largest of the three (tiny) rooms that make up the gallery.
A wall of Room 2 is dedicated to the impressive acrylic works of Gillian Ingham. Also worth a mention is Prime, by Dorothy Solis, an intense but soothing hyper-close-up of a flower.
All these works reward concentrated viewing, a world away from the trite, sterile fibreglass giraffes that have recently taken up space on the streets of Croydon. This is art with a heart, art for grown-ups.
A couple of artists stand out in Room 1. Daisy MacMullan’s work sits comfortably between figurative and abstract. Of the three works on display, I particularly liked Verge ii, a wild painterly splash of plant life that sparks joy in the beholder.
By contrast, Rakel Wienberg’s manipulated seascape photographs evoke a dreamy, disorientating world.
Paul Hall has done it again. He has transformed a drab terraced unit in an unfashionable part of Croydon into a hidden gem of a playful and evocative exhibition that augments Croydon’s cultural status, yet exisiting entirely independently of the Borough of Culture.
Evidently, it helps to know what you are doing.
- The Abstract World exhibition runs at Croydon Art Space until December 23. Click here for more information and to book free tickets
- Inside Croydon – as seen on TV! – has been delivering local community news since 2010. 3million page views per year in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
- If you want real journalism, actually based in the borough, you should consider paying for it. Please sign up today. Click here for more details
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- We offer FREE ads to community groups when they have members who are paid subscribers to Inside Croydon
- Our comments section on every report provides all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content
- 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 among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine