About Us, Without Us

What is something about your local area that you have grown to appreciate?

In January 2021, Turf Projects’ Art Press was commissioned by Historic England to make a film about Croydon high street.

I was excited at the start of the project. I wanted to travel around Croydon taking photos, videos, writing a piece, maybe a poem, drawing from what I saw and more.

A few weeks into the project, my family had caught COVID-19 and I became very ill for a number of weeks. My grandmother was hospitalized and died from COVID-19 during the project, which took a big hit on me and blocked a lot of my progress.

I was isolating and recovering for most of the time we had to create media for the project.

My plans for how I could get inspiration went out the window. I did what I usually do when I’m trapped inside. I logged onto Google Maps, and drove around Croydon from my computer. I kept thinking, “I don’t know what is so special about Croydon nowadays, its just so grey.”

I took a few photos from google maps and I started to draw what I saw Croydon to be, imagined what it could be and what I hoped to see.

Big, bold, bright. Brutal concrete structures that tower over you. Buildings that contain clashing colourways, sitting right next to each other. And of course you can’t travel around Croydon without a glare from some glass.

Taberner House on Google Maps

One of my favourite murals in Croydon. “You’re a diamond – lost in a sea of quartz…” by Rich Simmons. Driving down the main road it always catches my eye. I had to draw my interpretation of it.

Rich Simmons’ Mural on Google Maps

Saffron Tower is one of my favourite and most hated buildings in Croydon. Its height and shape confuse me, make me feel dizzy and disorientated. But its beautiful colours always pull me out of the bland and muddied greyness that is the wider landscape.

Saffron Tower on Google Maps

I found myself appreciating Croydon and its architecture more every day.

You can watch the film ‘About Us, Without Us’ on YouTube with this link:

About Us/Without Us: ‘Croydon, a City in Itself’

You can find the rest of my artwork for the film project on my Instagram:


What is something about your local area that you have grown to appreciate?

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