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Dan, Stanley Arts (South Drawood exhibition)

  • Year Invented: 2018

Dan joined Stanley Arts in 2019 as part of the regeneration of the building. The group, who were looking to re-do the building, didn’t know what to do with it, but with Dan’s background in arts it seemed obvious to him to turn it into an arts venue. Dan’s background is in theatre although he originally trained in academia getting a doctorate in physics! He is now the venue director of Stanley Arts and has been a massive help in putting together the exhibition you see today as well as coordinating other events and overseeing the general upkeep of the building.

Dan commutes down from Finsbury Park to work in SE25. He loves the diversity of South Norwood and says how interesting it is for him to be at the centre of the community. South Norwood doesn’t have a town hall but Stanley Arts is used for many council functions and other events. The building is there to serve all needs of the community, both the geographical community who live in the area and then communities of interest such as Queer Arts based groups. He notes that the building can bring so much culture to South Norwood which will help with the regeneration of the area. Anyone is welcome to enquire with him about finding a space within the building to cater to their needs whether that’s for a wedding, putting on a show on the main stage or hiring a space for a smaller event. 

Words by Elizabeth Walters

Interview with Dan, Venue Director of Stanley Arts, April 2022

Stanley Arts

12 South Norwood Hill, London, SE25 6AB


This project was part of the South Drawood exhibition in 2022 by artist Jonny Kemp. A community art project celebrating the people of South Norwood, SE25.

From autumn of 2021 to summer 2022, Jonny drew 40 portraits of independent business owners, volunteers, and other movers and shakers from South Norwood, his local area. His partner Lizzie interviewed them.

South Norwood is regenerating yet doesn’t want to gentrify: it wants to keep its character and support people who already live in the area to prosper. This was Jonny and Lizzie’s way of ‘giving South Norwood a hug’: by representing the diverse people of SE25 through portraits in fine liner pen, and their own stories.

The portraits were displayed in Stanley Arts, a beautiful Edwardian arts venue on South Norwood Hill. Over 150 people attended the opening night: Friday 29th July 2022.

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