Walthamstow Village Gateway Mosaic, Church Hill, Walthamstow, London E17

Celebrating both local wildlife and local artists – William Morris, his daughter May Morris and his colleague and close friend William De Morgan – these panels were made with the community and pupils and staff at Walthamstow School for Girls.
Pupil’s took part in drawing and designing workshops. Clay tile workshops were run in the school with pupils and in the local Welcome Centre for community members aged 6 upwards. People attended of all ages: the youngest was 3 months old to 80+ years old. Teamwork resulted in some stunning tiles that were incorporated into the mosaics.

The mosaics were put together in the Girl’s School and were enabled by the school generously letting us use an art room for a week, twice. Pupils and visitors came to help place each tile into place to make these sparkling panels. We then put them up in two phases: one series went up in Easter 2018, the second during the July heatwave in 2018.

The mosaics depict animals from the Morris Forest tapestry, from the local forest, wetlands and also from the fabrics of May and William Morris, and the tiles by De Morgan. There are lots of videos from local people speaking about these mosaics on our Instagram feed, from the postman, parents, residents, the Headteacher and more.

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Huge thanks to our sponsors and donors: Walthamstow School for Girl’s, Stow Brothers Estate Agents, St Mary’s Church, Great Place Scheme, Arts Council England, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Tesco’s Bags of Help, Groundwork London, Potterycrafts, Amaco Glazes, Grestec Tiles, the local councillors and MP, and every person who took part, laid a tile, helped out, volunteered, got enthusiastic and took an interest – it took all of you to make these happen. Special thanks to the Artyface Team for all your hard work, dedication and skill.

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The mosaics adorn a wall in a conservation area and I have been told that they look as though they have always been there. I am so pleased to see them being enjoyed and touched and photographed by people of all ages. We are excited to see if we can make more for the community to enjoy in the future. We are currently fundraising for the third phase as the connections made in the community through this project have been inspiring and enriching. Also the feedback from the community has been that they would love to see more mosaic and want to help us make them.

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‘The stunning murals created by the pupils at Barncroft School, with local resident and artist Maud Milton, founder of Artyface, are a wonderful example of the creative projects that make Walthamstow a place for everyone to enjoy. It was fantastic to see Groundwork supporting and enabling this partnership project to flourish’
Stella Creasy
Labour and Cooperative MP for Walthamstow

‘I was given the opportunity to volunteer in helping put together some of these wonderful works of art. Enjoying various crafts, I have found the experience both enlightening and exhilarating. It has been such a hands on Community Project where all walks of life, from a large mix of cultures and background have done their little bit. Thank you Maud Milton for facilitating this.
The most satisfying part of helping to fix them to the wall was listening to the many positive comments from passers by. They were admired, touched and greeted by all ages.
In my opinion, these mosaics should be a destination point to any person visiting the first London Borough of Culture 2019.’

Laimons Grinbergs
local resident and volunteer

‘Assisting with the making of these mosaics is so satisfying. Choosing, cutting and placing tiles is proper hard work. The colours are so vivid and the textures are so lovely. And best of all, I get to walk past them most days!’
Suzan Quilliam
local resident and midwife

‘I love them. They are very beautiful and look like they’ve been there forever!’
Sarah Unwin
local resident

‘It was really inspiring to see how engaged the students were with the work.’
Councillor Grace Williams
Cabinet Member for Children and Young People