Unexpected Croydon: Borough taken over by giant inflatable fairy-tale escapees —find out how to see them

·2-min read
 (Filthy Luker & Pedro Estrellas)
(Filthy Luker & Pedro Estrellas)

A neon lizard and a giant beanstalk are just some of the wacky installations that have taken over eight buildings around Croydon.

Croydon BID, who works with pioneering design company Designs In Air, have created Unexpected Croydon, an inflatable, 3D street art gallery, that features a series of “unexpected” sights.

Taking over the London borough until August 18, the eight giant installations have been designed to attract people of all ages back into the town’s high street, for a week of entertainment, enjoyment and fun.

The colourful inflatables first invaded Croydon in October, and have re-emerged this time around in an even more monstrous form.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Where is the Unexpected Croydon exhibition being held?

 (Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas who run pioneering inflatable design company Designs in Air)
(Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas who run pioneering inflatable design company Designs in Air)

This is where you can spot the creatures around Croydon, until this Thursday, August 18:

  • Paintbrush – Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, CR9 1DG

  • Love Rocket – AMP House, Dingwall Rd, East Croydon, CR0 2LX

  • Lizard – Ruskin Square Car Park, Dingwall Rd, East Croydon, CR0 2NB

  • Grim Fingers – LSBU Campus, 3 Wellesley Rd, Croydon, CR0 2NW

  • Eyeballs – Barclays Bank, High Street, North End, CR9 1SX

  • Pencil – High Street, North End (between Centrale and Whitgift shopping centres)

  • Beanstalk – Croydon Town Hall, Katharine St, CR0 1NX

  • Tentacles – Optivo, Grosvenor House, 125 High St, Croydon, CR0 9XP

Why are there monsters in Croydon?

 (Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas who run pioneering inflatable design company Designs in Air)
(Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas who run pioneering inflatable design company Designs in Air)

Matthew Sims, chief executive of Croydon BID, said: “Our high streets need something different. They need creativity, innovation, and reimagining. Unexpected Croydon brings together a host of incredible art installations, bringing to life key parts of our town centre to attract people with a free trial that will enthral all ages at a time when we need a little light relief.”

Luke Egan, director and designer at Designs in Air, said: “Our main motive is to make the world a more surreal and colourful place.”

He adds: “Our sculptures are often site-specific and instantly transform everyday scenes into strange new ones. We hope to get people to look up from their feet and phones and raise a chuckle or at least an eyebrow! Our sculptures can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, and although our designs are highly technical, it’s not high art, but it is high UP art! The great thing is everyone gets to see our work for free.”

Plus, if you spot an escaped monster and post to Instagram tagging @checkoutcroydon and #UnexpectedCroydon, you could be in with a chance to win £100 to spend at Boxpark.

If that’s not an incentive, we don’t know what is.