State of the Heart: street artist raises £3,300 with ‘Rainbow Boy’

A Croydon street artist has been busy over the past week, brightening up the borough’s streets and raising thousands of pounds to pay for vital Personal Protection Equipment – PPE – for the NHS and a local hospice.

As Inside Croydon reported over the weekend, a Banksy-like stencilled artwork of a small boy watering a rainbow has been appearing all across the borough – and, it seems from reports from our loyal reader, from further afield, too.

The rainbow has become a symbol of hope and (socially distanced) togetherness during the coronavirus lockdown, and this piece of public art somehow manages to captivate some of the spirit that is being shown each Thursday evening, with the minute’s applause for key workers at 8pm.

The artist, Chris Shea, also known as State of the Art, is charging pubs, cafés and homeowners £50 a time to have the stencil added to their properties, and so far he has raised more than £3,000 from his efforts.

There are even T-shirts available with the emotive Rainbow Boy as a logo, with £3 for every sale going towards the PPE equipment appeal set up by St Christopher’s Hospice.

Inside Croydon has received “sightings” of the rainbow boy from Lloyd Park, where the renamed Lounge Café has had to delay its re-opening (although the new managers will be providing food and drinks for key workers during the emergency).

We have also had sightings from Edward Road, Addiscombe Road, outside St Mary’s Catholic Junior School and a day nursery on Haling Park Road.

The artwork has been seen in Albatross Gardens, South Croydon, and as far afield as Wickham Road, Shirley, Whitmore Road in Bromley, Langley Park in Beckenham and Melody Road, Biggin Hill.

Inside Croydon