Hale Man: The people’s artist of Croydon

Hale Man will be resident to the Whitgift Centre for a year. Photo: Kuan-Yuan Chu

Hale Man will be resident to the Whitgift Centre for a year. Photo: Kuan-Yuan Chu


Hale Man, an artist-in-residence at the Whitgift Centre in Croydon will be opening a new exhibition, “Elements of Transformation” on Saturday, June 14, with a full day of events scheduled.

A painter as well as a sculptor working in the metal arts, Man was trained at the Royal College of Art, and has lived in Croydon for 16 years. Her latest work is inspired by feng shui, the Chinese practice of positioning objects based on a belief that the results can have positive and negative effects. Her exhibition also incorporates the symbolic meanings behind the five elements, metal, fire, wood, water, and earth. Man’s work utilizes these ancient concepts and reinterprets their meanings in a present day context, tying in Croydon’s regeneration and diverse culture.

Saturday’s opening will include dance performances as well as meditation and art workshops throughout the day. She said: “I want to make art accessible to the communities in Croydon. I believe art should be inclusive for everybody”.

Throughout her practice, Man has been seeking to engage the public. In 2008, she founded Creative Circles, providing community art activities for children with learning disabilities.

After attaining the residency at the Whitgift Centre in January 2014, Man has utilized the space for a number of activities, events, and workshops. Earlier this year, she held an art competition that invited people to share their life stories in regards to changes that have occurred in Croydon.

Ultimately, Man says, “I am a story catcher.” She is particularly excited about the art workshop she will be holding at tomorrow’s opening. She hopes people will “draw their life stories for me to collect, and then also to showcase alongside my own work in an exhibition at the end of the year.”

On the June 14 exhibition, Man said: “I hope people have lots of fun, and that there will be lots of sharing through the arts.”

Visit the Whitgift Centre website for additional information.

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