This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 05/04/2018.
People are angry that this piece of Croydon street art which cost almost £15,000 is broken
Passers-by are struggling to read the message spelled out in neon lights.
It’s no secret that Croydon town centre is home to dozens of eye-catching pieces of street art.
But while they may brighten the streetscape most of the time, people have expressed dismay that the most expensive art installation to have been put up in Surrey Street has broken.
Passers-by were quick to notice that a neon sign on the bridge over the marketplace, which usually reads “a simple hello could lead to a million things”, was broken on Wednesday (April 4).
The lights on the last five words of the sign, which was designed by Lauren Baker, were not lit up.
It was put up in February last year in an effort to “bring a positive message to the area” and is the most expensive of the nine installations which Croydon Council commissioned for the street.
The authority spent £14,792 to install the neon lights – a figure which excludes the costs of powering them.
After spotting the broken artwork, Andrew Dickinson, who runs the Croydon Summer of Love Festival, tagged the council in a tweet which read: “A simple hello could… fill in the blanks.”
A council spokeswoman explained that the art piece has been vandalised.
She said: “We are aware part of the lighting on the artwork under the bridge in Surrey Street is not working.
“Unfortunately this is due to vandalism, but we are working with contractors to restore lighting to the piece as soon as possible.”
In total, the project to bring more art to Surrey Street cost £52,369, a Freedom of Information request revealed.
This was used to buy nine installations – including Schoony’s blue sculpture of a boy soldier emerging from a restored brick wall near the entrance to Exchange Square.
The money to pay for the project came from a pot of council money granted by developers for the sole purpose of installing street art.
A breakdown of how the cash was spent can be seen in our table below.
|Neon lighting under bridge by Lauren Baker||£14,792|
|“Two men kiss” mural by Rich Simmons, near Matthew’s Yard||£2,200|
|Colourful air conditioning units by Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison and Charlie Henson, on Middle Street||£1,764|
|“Boy Soldier” by Shoony||£11,000|
|Colourful stairs, near the back of Vue||£2,970|
|Murals on shutters||£1,000|
|Mural on Middle Street||£7,010|
|New metal wayfinding signs and lighting||£9,133|