London-born Eine, whose graffiti-style letter formations shot to fame when the Camerons presented one of his works to President Obama as a gift on their first official state visit, has chosen Croydon as his latest blank canvas as part of a wider initiative to reignite the London borough through art and redevelopment.
Leading Croydon property developer Inspired Homes, renowned for creating innovative residential developments with a strong community ethos for first time buyers, has provided the blank canvas for Eine’s work in the form of a nine storey elevation on its Green Dragon House development, a stone’s throw from Croydon’s new art quarter around St. Georges Walk on the High Street.
The mural itself depicts the word ‘mesmerising’ in Ben’s iconic circus font. As Ben explains, it’s a word he has wanted to paint for some time but just needed the right canvas:
“I came to Croydon a year ago and decided then that I wanted to get involved in its street art scene; I was just waiting for the right time and the right space to paint. Mesmerising is one of my favourite words, it looks and feels right and evokes a range of emotions. I just needed a space big enough to paint it on and I’ve found it here in Croydon; it fits really well.
“Street art has been instrumental in invigorating urban areas in cities and councils like Croydon are starting to realise the positive benefits that creating a buzzing street art scene can bring to an area.”
Martin Skinner, founder and CEO of Inspired Homes comments: “We’re delighted to be able to support Ben Eine’s inspirational artistic work by offering him a blank canvas in the heart of Croydon’s flourishing art quarter. It fits with our passion of integrating with the community and encouraging inspiring activity locally. It also helps to put Croydon on the map once more, inspiring more people to come and live in this buzzing centre of arts, culture, dining and shopping.”
Croydon’s relationship with art has seen massive growth over the last few years thanks to the town’s multi-billion-pound regeneration programme which has
seen dilapidated areas transformed into innovative and inspiring places to live and work. As a result, parts of Croydon have been turned into a street art canvas with the aim of trying to get as many local people involved as possible whilst attracting renowned artists from further afield, such as Ben Eine, David Hollier, Dotmasters and Femme Fierce.
The duo credited for rebuilding Croydon’s art scene is Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison, founder of the Rise Gallery and Vestalia Chilton in charge of curating the phase two expansion of the artist quarter:
Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison says: “The public’s appetite for arts and culture in Croydon is incredible really. It’s a very special time for us here. We are so lucky to have people like Inspired Homes who support and understand our vision. And what an honour to have Ben here with us. The Croydon Mural Project is now underway; it’s going to be a huge year for us ‘literally’ in terms of scale and ambition.”
Adds Vestalia: “Croydon’s many concrete buildings present a commanding canvas for large scale murals. This is an area deserving of great street art; we hope that many more murals will go up after Ben has completed his.”
Ben Eine’s ‘mesmerising’ mural on the outside of Inspired Homes’ Green Dragon House will be completed on Friday 26th February.