Something amazing has been happening in the darkest winter months here in Southfields – for one weekend a year, local people decorate their windows with coloured paper to create an outdoor, night-time free art gallery. Window Wanderland started in Bristol, and has been gradually spreading further afield. It’s an absolute pleasure to walk around the chilly streets admiring the inventiveness of your neighbours, and enjoying a bit of a party atmosphere (this year one house was Ghostbusters themed, upstairs and downstairs, and was blasting out the theme tune, and last year someone set up a karaoke in their front garden).
This year I went for a tropical birds theme, and as storm Ciara was set to arrive on the Sunday I put speech bubbles for the birds to say ‘Storm?’ ‘What storm?’…and last year’s was a bird-eating monster.
The year before that I was rather overambitious and created a kraken that extended from downstairs to upstairs – but it took an awful lot of planning to get the legs to match up. And the first year we had Window Wanderland in Southfields, I chose a Moby Dick theme but added disco lights to jazz it up.
I usually like to make the window with things I have in the house (I have a stack of plain tissue paper, but it needs to be joined in sections to fill a window pane. Next year I’ll buy some that’s big enough so the seams don’t show. This was also the first year I created my own coloured tissue by painting sheets with acrylic in advance, and drying them on the clothes airer so they didn’t stick to the floor. I was pleased with the results.
Here’s a few highlights from my friends and neighbours this year: look at the beautiful ‘Make Every Day Count’ by Tracey English! And I love the all day breakfast from Salt and Pepper. Looking forward to next year already…