We take a retrospective look back at Croydon’s biggest ever art launch and exhibition. The Living Free Art Collective held their debut exhibition from the 6th of October to the 1st of November, with the launch party on the 7th of October.
The collective is made up of myself plus Hark1karan, Vega, Anjali Barot, Danny Sloff Hedges, Nahwand Jaff, Priya Barot, Lee Fairweather, Grace Humphreys and Leon Bartholomew. Support from associate members Oliver Sudden, Mike Lawse, Darren Christopher Randon, Michael Balamwezi, Joan and Brgr & Beer.
Overview, community and impact
The aim of the collective is to create passionate and meaningful art in various forms, to inspire, to share, to bring the community together, to be inclusive, and to create opportunities for local talent and beyond.
What stood out was the quality and diversity of the art, poetry, photography and film on show. The viewer was offered an array of expressions and messages. The artists freedom to create without compromise and come together is what makes the collective unique. The sense of humanity and honesty in all the work draws the viewer in. It’s also a statement of individuality and unity all at once.
The launch itself was a cultural celebration bringing together 350-400 people from Croydon, central London and many places beyond.
There was art, poetry, spoken word, photography, music, a film screening, a raffle, burgers and drinks. Much of the feedback has been that they didn’t know events like this took place in Croydon.
Others also highlighted the energy they felt at Matthews Yard that night. Many left inspired and proud. A common unity brought everyone together for a special occasion.
Our collaboration painting raised £121.50 for charity. All money goes to SEWAC to feed the homeless, elderly and vulnerable in Croydon.