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Suffolk Scenes: The story behind Giles Statue


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If you walk along Ipswich waterfront, you can spot vibrant and lustrous murals that give life to the public pathways. If you take a stroll into the town centre, you can find a wide range of public sculptures that demonstrate a great value of art and culture in the streets of Ipswich. One of our most beloved landmarks is The Giles Statue (Also known as Grandma Statue) which was unveiled as a mark of respect and appreciation for the work of Carl Giles; the most loved British cartoonist of the 20th century (Cthowgego, 2011).

Giles was best known for his fictional characters, ‘Giles Family’, with Grandma being the most famous. These characters first appeared at the end of World War II, then became familiar characters in weekly topical comic strips for the Daily Express and Sunday Express. Giles lived in Suffolk for most of his adult life and his Ipswich office was the one he worked at for the longest length of time. The Grandma statue is positioned to look up at the studio window where Giles worked (AllAboutIpswich, 2021).

You don’t have to be an Art and Design student to appreciate this landmark, but most importantly a person that can recognise the style and influence Carl Giles displayed in British culture. A cartoonist dedicated to providing wit, humour and entertainment throughout significant events from 1945 – 1995.

Read more about Carl Giles and Giles statue here:

Cthowgego (2011) ‘A Brief Introduction to Giles’ [Online] Available at:

AllAboutIpswich (2021) ‘The Giles Statue’ [Online] Available at:

Brandon Orton, Student Recruitment and Marketing Assistant

Follow our #SuffolkScenes stories on our social accounts. You will see more information about Giles Statue on our TikTok: @universityofsuffolk.

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