The Walthamstow Griffin
In Summer 2022 Artillery was awarded funding to create a suite of contemporary artworks inspired by the under-told stories of the people and heritage of Walthamstow High Street. In December 2022 we unveiled the major new sculpture by Sandie M Sutton flanked by a unique collection of flags co-created with artist Alisa Ruzavina, all welcomed to their High Street home with A Winter Feast of music, stories, games and delicious food to share.
The Walthamstow Griffin
Guardian of High Street Treasures
39 High Street, E17 7AD
Our Guardian of High Street Treasures is now watching over the High Street from its vantage point at above Golden Cakes. Have you spotted her yet? Tag us in your social media posts @artilleryarts #TheWalthamstowGriffin
Artillery CIC collaborated with local sculptor and environmental activist Sandie M Sutton to bring a stunning new 3 metre wall mounted sculpture to Walthamstow. This contemporary sculpture responds to the repeating motifs in the nearby heritage architecture and provokes us to consider what requires our protection and care now. The Walthamstow Griffin is sculpted using reclaimed plastics in eye popping colours contributed by traders and residents.
Discover more of Sandie’s work here
This Teacher Resource Pack is designed to support teachers of KS1 and KS2 to take inspiration from The Walthamstow Griffin in their teaching of:
- ART… 3D work and Sculpture
- ENGLISH… Myths and Mythical Creatures
- ECOLOGY…. Plastics & the Environment
- HISTORY… Ancient Cultures
- GEOGRAPHY… Wonderful Walthamstow
- PSHE… Valuing & protecting our community
The pack includes activities, links to our creative resources & information about booking sculpture workshops.
Flags of Our High Street Treasures
Eight vivid flags have been co-designed with High Street traders, residents, learners and community activists. Describing the collection Alisa Ruzavina writes: “The flags celebrate those treasures, reminding people of all the wonders, delights, warmth and riches that can be found on our High Street. Whether it’s a delicious pastry or a new friend, the High Street, is both a place of discovery and familiarity. The Flags encapsulate this diverse rich spirit of the street, celebrating its people, its businesses and its abundance through colourful imagery derived from conversations and interviews with the High Street traders and visitors, along with stories of diverse community groups that co-designed the flags.”
This project was led by sustainability-driven fashion and textiles designer and activist Alisa Ruzavina. Find out more about her most recent projects here
The Flag Themes & The Makers
Film by Leyton Sixth Form Students: Bartosz Bester, Ayan Raja, Dragomir Bozev
Explore our Project Timeline
High Street ADVENTures, A Winter Feast
A Winter Feast was a celebratory afternoon and early evening event to welcome The Walthamstow Griffin to the High Street. A programme co-created with Stories and Supper, Mbilla Arts, The Together Space, The Performance is YOU! and High Street businesses.
Here is a slide show with the event photography.
A project by Artillery CIC and Associate Artists
Artists: Sandie M Sutton & Alisa Ruzavina
Project Team: Morag McGuire, Laura Kerry, Jessica Hudsley Events, Kirsty McNeil, Hattie Scott, Felicity Jones Metal
The Winter Feast has been commissioned by Waltham Forest Council as part of Small Business Saturday and is produced by Artillery CIC in partnership with Jessica Hudsley Events and Associate Artists Sandie M Sutton and Alisa Ruzavina.
The Walthamstow Griffin sculpture has been awarded funding by the Mayor of London as part of the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm and is supported by Waltham Forest Council.
With thanks to all our project partners, Mayor of London, Waltham Forest Council, St James Street Big Local, Twenty First Century Land, Ambar Installations, L&Q for a donation, and Sainsburys for overnight storage for our scissor lift!
Thanks to our volunteers, and everyone who donated the plastics including pupils at Stoneydown Park Primary School.
Images courtesy: Penny Dampier and Sam Griffiths
With thanks to all the community collaborators involved in co-design of the flags
Community Partners: Waltham Forest College, The Gleaners & The Hornbeam Centre, Waltham Forest, Antigua, Barbuda and Dominica Twinning Association, The ELMS, The Mill, NBAM.
Co-Facilitator & Design Support: Sam Griffiths. Exhibition installation: Simona Pesce. Flag Makers: Mika Sembongi, Jennie Caminada, Kaori Yatsumoto, Ellie Horry, Carolyn Abbott. Anita O’Brien and Sara Shimasue. Volunteers: Jenny Greenfield and Amanda Chaloner.
And all the high street traders who have gifted us their time, stories and opinions.
The collection of flags are available for community groups to borrow for local events by arrangement: please email email@example.com