Created by the staff and school children using flowers and fauna donated on behalf of the Flower Market and themed around Christmas carol The Holly and the Ivy, the window is part of the wider Nine Elms Advent Calendar Trail. A new window is being revealed every December evening until Christmas Eve, with Griffin School’s the sixth of 24.
“The support of both the market and the developers has enabled the school to utilise its creativity and create something the entire community can get pleasure from,” says Revd Betsy Blatchley, Southwark’s first Pioneer Minister in the Arts. Betsy has created the calendar trail as part of her remit to explore arts, spirituality and social justice in the heart of the Nine Elms Development.
The project is a ‘perfect match’ for the famous Flower Market, according to Garin Auld, Tenant Engagement Manager at Covent Garden Market Authority. “Our traders take pride in offering the most amazing assortment of fruit, vegetables and flowers in the country. So we’re delighted to take part and help curate the calendar, which looks amazing. It’s by far the best of all the advent calendars – and the children at Griffin Primary School should all be very proud.”
What’s more, strong connections continue to be forged, as Betsy explains. “The most exciting thing about the project are the relationships local community groups are building with local businesses and developers. The partnership that New Covent Garden Market and VSM have forged with Griffin School, by their sponsorship and practical support of the nature-themed advent window, enables both the school and the families it serves, to see some really positive benefits.”
Louise Black, Deputy Head at Griffin School, reveals it was 'quite daunting' to be let loose in the Flower Market with money to spend, but she felt well supported by everyone she met. "I had so much fun building the forest window," says Louise. "I had a wonderful team of students who supported me to finalise the design and two budding artists - Amelia and Tyler - who created the beautiful tissue paper sun."
Louise adds: "We're excited about the links we've made through this fantastic project, and the further opportunities they'll bring us in the future."
You can find out more about all the Nine Elms Advent Calendar locations here.