Look Down to Look Up

 

A public art commission of five large Ground Art works for Croydon Council, 2018

 

The city around us is the world’s biggest gallery, of life, of materials, of compositions, and our buildings provide endless delight, they are a starring attraction in that great permanent exhibition, we just need to look up at them.


From the most banal to the great and the grand, from the nostalgic and cutesy to the space age and futuristic, from the utilitarian and the industrial to the flashy and commerical, the architecture of Croydon is a delight to behold. We just need to look up at it all.


Taking this idea, Look Down To Look Up takes specific architectures in Croydon, and transforms them into fun patterns and colours and shapes, which, whilst looking down, crossing the street on their everyday routes, tickles passersy-by into being reminded of all the glory around them.


Smiles at them and, even when the installation is long gone, reminds them “hey, just look up!”

Two types of buildings have been used to generate patterns for the crossings. Everyday architecture, of the kind that Croydon is full of, and which usually barely register, delightful Edwardian concoctions, sturdy victorian facades, are taken from the street on which the crossings are placed, and are celebrated as everyday icons, elevated to the status of items to be contemplated, and -of course- walked all over. These are icons of the everyday.

Croydon is famous for its heroic modernist space-age architecture, its two Seiferts and its other tower blocks, which thrilled generations of kids like myself, looking for all the world like a piece of the future had slipped into South London from another dimension. These iconic buildings are celebrated by being brought into the everyday, by being turned into fun patterns for gum to be squished into, to squelch as you walk across them and your shoes stick a little in the hot summer sun. These are the everyday of the icons.

^photo by Ruth Ward

^photo by Ruth Ward

^photo by Ruth Ward

^photo by Ruth Ward

^photo by Ruth Ward

^photo by Ruth Ward

^photo by Ruth Ward

^photo by Ruth Ward

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