Turf Projects is drawing an alternative map of Croydon

By - Tuesday 21st March, 2017

The weird, the wonderful, the overlooked – what parts of Croydon would you put on an alternative map?

‘Perpetuity Sign’, Godai Sahara, Park Hill Park, 2017.
Photo author’s own.

Croydon can be a strange place. Turf Projects and Fungus Press are looking for your suggestions of curious, overlooked and outright surreal locations for an alternative map of our borough.

Over the past two years, should you have taken a stroll through Wandle or Park Hill Park, or have been waiting for a tram at Reeves Corner, you might have pondered on a tricky phrase, an inspiring quotation or a load of old nonsense. Turf Projects, the first entirely artist-run contemporary art space in Croydon, have been working together with Fungus Press, a team of two writers and publishers, to commission new artworks for Croydon’s public spaces. Pasting up new artworks from artists all over the country, the project has invited over twenty-five artists, designers and poets to respond directly to these often bypassed areas of the city.

Stopping stock-still on the street and taking a cursory look around, snippets of text and slogans abound – demanding that you buy, sell or consider – and so do the sounds of threads of others’ conversations, or a couple of bars of music on the radio. The modern public space is full of noise: for the eyes as well as for the ears. The Fungus Press poster project was started with the hope of acting as a salve to the sometimes disorienting experience of living in, and moving through, these sometimes aggressive and contradictory places. Through a modest poetic phrase or a considered composition of images it’s hoped that the posters offer a brief moment of reflection in the course of a normal day.

It’ll be a way of navigating the borough through its glorious oddities, historical quirks and bizarre conversation-starters

Throughout March and April there will be work on view by London artists Lee Johnson and Adam Bridgland at Reeves Corner and a commission in Wandle Park that responds to fly-posted messages on buildings by Kitty Clark. On our recently unveiled poster board in the walled garden in Park Hill Park – a carved and gilded in walnut wood frame by Esme Toler – is a work by Godai Sahara, an artist currently living in Glasgow who spent time in the Museum of Croydon’s archives looking at the history of Croydon’s public signage.

The project continues the work of a lineage of poets and artists, often known as the Concrete Poets, who from the fifties onwards arranged texts, words and letterforms from their surroundings into new compositions on the page. One of their most well-known exponents, the Scottish poet Ian Hamilton Finlay, provides the mantra for the project: to provide ‘a model of order, even if set in a space which is full of doubt’.

In the same spirit of finding new ways to appreciate and move through the borough, Turf and Fungus Press are looking to create an alternative map of Croydon: a way of navigating the borough through its glorious oddities, historical quirks and bizarre conversation-starters. For our next Fungus Map, we want to include your suggestions of the unusual, unexpected and overlooked locations, objects and histories of central Croydon.

Email your suggestions to us at (all included submissions will be credited). Following a launch event at Turf Projects, the maps will be free to pick up at Fungus Press locations around Croydon, as well as a selection of other unexpected locations.

Oscar Gaynor

Oscar Gaynor

Oscar is the Project Manager of Fungus Press, part of Turf Projects.

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