Animal art trails are all the rage right now — and the latest has just landed in Croydon.
As part of its Borough of Culture celebrations, Croydon's town centre has been peppered with 30 giraffe-shaped sculptures, each decorated by a local artist chosen from a long list of 200.
Londonist was out and about on opening day, and snapped a few of them, including 'Diverse City' on North End, 'Mechani-Kit' on Mint Walk, 'Concrete Jungle' in the Whitgift Centre, 'Fleur' outside the Whitgift almshouses and 'Giroaurus' outside Grants. They're going down well with kids already by the looks of things (and one drunk man who was climbing on one), and we're looking forward to hunting down the rest, which include the Bowie-themed 'Ziggy-Raff Stardust' and 'Cow of the Savannah', painted like a friesian cow.
For extra cute factor, the 30 giraffe sculptures are accompanied by a litter of 30 baby giraffes, decorated by local schools and community groups, and roaming Croydon's various shops and amenities.
But, hold the phone, why giraffes? As far as we know, Croydon doesn't have a storied past with the long-necked ruminants (in fact elephants might've been more fitting — one once went on a rampage in the town centre, while another became addicted to the beer from a local brewery). But Matthew Sims, Chief Executive of Croydon Town Centre Business Improvement District, enlightens us, with his explanation that Croydon is "...a place defined by its people who stand tall at all times." So there you have it. Giraffes.
A sculpture trail map and app are available online, or you can pick up physical maps at selected spots, including Croydon Library. Once it's over at the end of October, the giraffes will be auctioned off to raise money for Crisis.
Croydon Stands Tall, 21 August-27 October 2023, free