Association of London Colleges

Art & Design Students Brighten Up High Street

Art & Design Students Brighten Up High Street

The project involved year 2 Level 3 Art and Design students creating a mural, celebrating Artists, Musicians and Writers of Sutton and a light installation, reflecting futuristic shop signs by Media students. The designs were brought to life and painted on the alleyway by artist Mateusz J Odrobny.

College Principal, Peter Mayhew-Smith, joined the students and tutor Annette Vigurs to unveil the mural oppoiste Argos in Sutton High Street and said "This is the coolest thing in Sutton and the work that has been done to transform this alleyway is phenomenal."

Sutton Council contacted Annette, UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design Course Tutor, to ask local students to be involved in this regeneration project of certain parts of Sutton town centre. Briefs were given to Art & Design students to create a mural and Media students to create an illuminated sign for the Sutton's town centre alleyways.


The first brief outlined the theme to reflect Sutton's history and for the Art & Design students to focus on celebrating artists, musicians and writers linked to Sutton, titled 'The Creatives of Sutton'.

In September 2016, 11 students visited Sutton to meet the client, Manmohan Dayal, Area Renewal Projects Manager for Sutton Council and Hugh McEwen from the architectural firm in charge of the project.

With their cameras, sketchbook and pencils the first step was to photograph the site and area and look at other art around the town. Based on their theme, the students decided to design a mural including 5 artists; Joan Armatrading, Quentin Crisp, Katie Melua, The Rolling Stones and HG Wells. These poets, musicians and writers all have either lived or produced work in Sutton.

Hugh visited the College to spend 4 workshop sessions developing their ideas and originals sketches along with Annette their course tutor. The challenge was for each student to create an individual piece of artwork and then to merge the 11 pieces together into a flowing mural in the form of dreamlike imagery to reflect the chosen Sutton artists. The mural design has been given to go ahead by the council and is now being painted onto one of the alleyway walls by a contract company. The students involved were Daisie- Rose Billson, Chinonye Chiwuzie, Teona Davies, Michael Farquharson, Lyric Fletcher, Shane Henry-Carberry, Daisy Jenkins, Gemma Kimberley, Jonathan Prabaharan, Amber Wenham and Ronnie Wilson.

Annette spoke about the project

"These students are from the Level 3 -UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design. The students are in their second year of this general art and design course and now working on their specialisms which they do mainly in their second year. The majority are going on to university to study an art course (either Illustration, Fine Art, Architecture, Photography or Theatrical Make Up). Having the opportunity to work on this live brief for Sutton has been a fantastic opportunity for them.

Light Installation

The light installation project was a proposal from Sutton Council and artist Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad based on the concept of social science fiction with the connection to Sutton literacy figure H.G.Wells. It proposes a future vision of Sutton High Street with an alleyway of ten illuminated signs for different services, products, shops, restaurants and places of interest.

Nine Year 1 Media and Year 2 Media Games students designed ideas and Bahbak chose work by Jakub Garbiak, Tia Nue, Samira Ali, Dean Smith, Chloe Ions and Alex O'Connell-Walters to be illuminated signs in the public realm and installed in the alleyway for 4 months.

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