Our History – The Butterfly Effect
The germ of the idea for the Bigger Picture Project was the proliferation of empty
shops and commercial premises as the recession began to bite at the beginning
of 2009. The Bigger Picture Team came together with the aim of making a small
contribution to reversing this trend by opening a temporary gallery for local
artists and creatives to display and sell their work.
With the invaluable help and support of Croydon Economic Development Company the
idea grew wings and suitable premises were located with funding made available
to convert a shop, abandoned for 15 years into a usable gallery space.
With the gallery in place prospective buyers were able to see the space in use and
by February 2010 the space was sold to a creative commercial photographer who
recognised the possibilities whilst driving by.
From June 2009 until March this year Bigger Picture Gallery on Church Road drew in
many visitors, many of whom were eager to become involved in building a
community to regenerate the area through creative practise. We now have a substantial database of
contacts dedicated to this idea.
Following on from our success we have now secured this much larger space on Anerley Hill
through the generosity of S G Smith Motor Group Limited.
Originally the Crystal Palace Hotel Ballroom, the space dates back to the time when The
Crystal Palace attracted millions of visitors to South East London and
transformed the area from a wooded hill overlooking London to a cultural
destination with a vibrant local community.
This inspired us to think about what we were doing and aim higher to
help reinvigorate the cultural life of the local area and regenerate this part
of South London.
Working with the Croydon Economic Development Company has led us to form a new
Community Interest Company called Progress Through Art. A Community Interest Company is designed for
social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public
good. CICs are intended to be easy to
set up, with all the flexibility and certainty of the company form, but with
some special features to ensure they are working for the benefit of the
With five boroughs meeting within two hundred metres of each other Crystal Palace
has always been different. The borough
boundaries have moved on more than one occasion when lazy church officials
failed to reach our corner of South London to beat the banns. We have the only independent library in the country,
a National Sports Centre and the remains of the world’s first theme park on one
of the highest points in London.
What we have learnt about our community throughout this project is that it is filled
with creative people and those who are passionate about this area. We want to harness this enthusiasm to further
benefit the local community by enhancing the cultural life of the area with a
creative and vibrant space. We would
like to see Crystal Palace returned to a cultural destination and so drive
The original Crystal Palace was a showcase for art and design, craft and all of
human endeavour. Whilst we cannot promise
all of human endeavour, we aim to provide creative individuals with a focal
point to meet, network and promote. The local economy will benefit from more
visitors to the area. Residents will be
able to enjoy and own original, affordable art and we will deliver a programme
of creative workshops for schools and individuals.
We are a commercial gallery which will use any profits it makes to fund our
community interests. We will strive to encourage new buyers and audiences for
the arts. We are helping to develop the
local arts economy and supporting a breadth of practice from the traditional to
the innovative, by artists at all stages of their careers. We encourage the perception that the arts play
a leading role in regenerating and sustaining our town centres.
We have become community builders.
Everything we have achieved so far has been on a very limited budget and we thank our
current sponsors and partners for helping us reach this point.
We now invite those interested in seeing this project succeed to think about ways
they might assist us to build upon our earlier success and achieve our aims.
Our Sponsors and Partners
S G Smith Motor Group Limited
Metropolitan Works Creative Industries Centre
Croydon Economic Development Company
J Sainsbury plc
Ideas for how you could support us
your time and skills
· Space for our next project
Address: Bigger Picture Gallery, 2A Anerley Hill, London, SE19 2AA
Telephone Number: 07914 490472
Registered Office Address: 14 Paddock Gardens, London, SE19 2UQ
Company Number: 07172814
How to find us
Crystal Palace station, walk down to Anerley Road and turn right; we are three
minutes walk up the hill, on the left, next door to The Grape & Grain pub.
Crystal Palace - (300m)
Gipsy Hill - (600m)
3 Oxford Circus
Sydenham, West Croydon