Page to Pavement Starts the Walk

people visiting Grandad's Island in park
The day’s events took place on an island in the centre of Lloyd Park in Walthamstow (photo: James Robertshaw)

The BDS-sponsored “From Page to Pavement,” part of the London Borough of Culture year-round series of community arts projects organised by Artillery, kicked off at Walthamstow’s Garden Party in Lloyd Park.

From Page to Pavement features the popular children’s book Grandad’s Island created by author and illustrator Benji Davies who is a resident of Waltham Forest. The book, published by Simon & Schuster, will generate workshops and events across the borough, in schools, libraries and community centres, including translation and retelling.

Penny Rutterford of Artillery, Benji Davies and Lesley Whyte
Penny Rutterford of Artillery, Benji David and Lesley Whyte

Lesley Whyte met with Benji and project organisers, Artillery, on the island in the park to celebrate the launch. She was told how setting up and running the island engaged with 300 people, including 4 local schools, performers, exhibiters and volunteers. The Garden Party as a whole attracted more than 35,000 people over two days and enjoyed support from organisations such as London’s Barbican Arts Centre.

“It was such a pleasure to see an idea start to become reality,” said Lesley. “And, from the crowds of children and parents gathered to set From Page to Pavement off on its long walk around the London Borough of Waltham Forest, the project is set to be a great success.”

Running until late October, From Page to Pavement hopes to work with 11,000 borough residents.

“Our aim is to take a sideways glimpse from our everyday routes to work and school into a parallel universe full of stories and possibilities linking generations and cultures,” says Laura Kerry, Director at Artillery.

The project will culminate in a celebration that will bring all the languages and diverse communities of the borough together.

“Picture books are the perfect medium for a project like this, where not only children but whole families and communities will be able to come together creatively,” says Benji.

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