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Come As You Really Are Exhibition

Grants Entertainment Centre, 14 High St
Croydon, CR0 1GT United Kingdom

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'Come As You Really Are' by award-winning artist Hetain Patel is a free exhibition showcasing quirky, creative and nostalgic objects from hobbyists across the UK.

The exhibition features thousands of objects created or collected by hobbyists across the UK, with collections including Transformers, Spiderman, Ghostbusters and My Little Pony. The exhibition is shown alongside a new artist film that’ll leave you inspired and maybe a tad introspective. Each hobby represents a decision to commit valuable time to living life on our own terms in a society dominated by consumerism.

Often rooted in personal experience and those of his immigrant family, Hetain Patel’s work invites us to see identity as multi-dimensional and complex, linked as much to what we choose to do as that which is assigned by birth, heritage, social norms, and conventions.

The project began with a call out inviting members of the public to share the activity to which they dedicate their spare time. Hobbies of all kinds are gathered to celebrate their variation, freedom of expression and ingenuity, and in doing so Patel challenges our perception of who gets to be called creative and where the impulse to create stems from.

At the heart of this project is a nationwide community of people whose labours of love are a lens through which the artist presents an alternative portrait of the UK.


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Commissioned and produced by Artangel.

In partnership with Factory International, Manchester; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea; Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; Museum of Making, Derby Museums Trust; National Festival of Making with Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Barnsley Civic; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland; CCA Derry~Londonderry; Hospitalfield, Arbroath; Tate St Ives.

Supported by Artangel’s Guardian Angels. With thanks to Creative Lives and Croydon Council. Digital Partner Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Artangel is generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and by the private patronage of The Artangel International Circle, Special Angels, and The Company of Angels.



Thu 18 Jul
Sun 20 Oct


Grants Entertainment Centre
14 High St
Croydon, CR0 1GT United Kingdom
0345 308 4620


+44 (0)20 7713 1400
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