Armed with spray cans and breathing masks, artists took over the streets of Croydon using shop shutters as their canvases.

The spray painters from the all women street artists’ movement Femme Fierce spent Sunday making their mark on St George’s Walk and the surrounding area.

They decorated shutters with bright murals as part of a plan by Rise Gallery owner Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison to create an arts quarter in the centre of town.

Your Local Guardian:

Guisi Tomasello works on her image of Athena

Your Local Guardian:

Amara Por Dios working hard in Croydon

Your Local Guardian:

Artists Elno and Fane at the Femme Fierce takeover

Your Local Guardian:

Hayley Garner aka Aylo of the Nomad clan at work in Croydon

Your Local Guardian:

Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison invited Femme Fierce to create an arts quarter in Croydon

The founder of the worldwide collective, Ayaan Bulale, said Femme Fierce was delighted to get involved after Mr Zuchowski-Morrison explained what he was trying to do in the area.

Ms Bulale said: "I live in Woolwich and thought Croydon was really far [away] but when I came down I thought it needed some serious brightening up and what better way to do it with a street art project?

I think there will always be tagging and street art and graffiti.

"Advertising billboards can be put up everywhere to sell stuff so why can’t we have murals put up, created with love and for the public enjoyment?"

More than 1,000 people turned up to watch the artists work and speak to the women about their creations.

Mr Zuchowski-Morrison said: "There were all different ages there and it was really nice to see.

"We had one woman who was 91 stop to take photos and lots of families and young children.

"I had a five-year-old in the gallery with me and she made more friends than anyone."

Anyone can look at the works at anytime and Mr Zuchowski-Morrison said this is the point.

He added: "In the 90s museums and institutions started showing conceptual art that the public did not get [whereas] street art is free, it’s on the street not in a stuffy gallery and it is socially relevant and connects with people."

Femme Fierce is having an exhibition at Rise Gallery in St George’s Walk, Croydon, starting on February 26.

Go to for details.