We all have times when we need refuge.
In 2017 Croydon Council undertook works on the site of Surrey Street Market and for a few months stalls were displaced around central Croydon. Most of the stalls wound up as refugees looking rather out of place on the North End.
For a long time Croydon has been well known to UK immigrants because of the presence of Lunar House, headquarters of UK visa and Immigration service, on Wellesley Road. I’m not sure if it’s true that this is why we are such a diverse borough but it makes a neat soundbite. Usually all Croydonians rub along with one another fairly peacefully so it was pretty shocking in April 2017 to hear of two young lads being attacked by a mob apparently for being refugees.
The reference shots for this picture were taken as people gathered for a march organised by ‘Stand Up to Racism’ following the attack. I wasn’t interested in painting the march itself but found so much going on around me which spoke of how we all need safe places and support at different times in our lives.
‘Refuge’ is one of a number of paintings I will be sharing as featured artist at Studio Upstairs this Feb/March.