Inauguration of art work on the High Street

22 Jun 2017

The Rolling Stones, HG Wells, Joan Armatrading, Quentin Crisp and Katie Melua are the stars of a new piece of artwork designed to brighten up a section of Sutton’s High Street.

The artwork on the wall of Tim’s Cafe is a result of a partnership between Sutton Council, as part of the Opportunity Sutton team’s Market Place Sutton works in the High Street, and second year students from Carshalton College.

The resulting effort has brightened up the alleyway to provide shoppers with a bright and colourful creation to stop them in their tracks.

Students and teachers from the college have given their time to design the piece of art which celebrates the creative people of Sutton.

Each student was given a different section to design over the course of several weeks. It was then painted by professional signwriter and illustrator Mateusz J Odrobny, taking him some 150 hours to produce.

A consultation was carried out last year asking residents what they wanted to attract more people to this end of the High Street in order to appeal to people of all ages.

The feedback has been used to transform the street with improvements to shop fronts, new seating, lighting and paving. Two more alleyways are also being designed – one celebrating Green Sutton – which will be unveiled in September.

Unfortunately, the bespoke kiosk, that would have activated the High Street, will no longer be built because it was proving to be unviable.

Deputy Mayor Marlene Heron officially unveiled the artwork at a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon and was joined by students and staff.

She said: “The students and their teachers have given their valuable time to create this piece of art which celebrates the people of Sutton.

“Last year, as part of the consultation, we were told what was wrong with the High Street. You told us that there was not enough for the young ones to do. You told us that the high street was dull and uninviting. You told us there was not enough greenery. We listened and we acted.

“You have seen the change in how this place looks. The upper facades have completely transformed the way the High Street looks. The improvements to the shop fronts have given a new lease of life to the High Street.

“We introduced events – the Big Dance Bus had the young and old on their feet; the games, the cinema and the DJ workshop demonstrated that the High Street was not just a place to shop – it had the potential to be a multi-purpose space for all kinds of activities and events.

“And this is just the beginning. The Council has appointed architects to redesign the surrounding areas – Elm Grove Housing Estate, the back yards of the shops, the roads and open space. The College has shown the way to work together and inculcate the community spirit in making Sutton a place for all to live in, work and enjoy.

“I hope that the College will continue to be a part of the change and this spirit will be kept alive by new students who come to the college.”

Peter Mayhew-Smith, Principal of Carshalton College, said: “It is the only cool thing in Sutton today, because it’s a really hot day.

“It’s extraordinary the work that has been done to bring this little alleyway to life, so thank you for cheering up this bit of Sutton.”