Window Wanderland will be back

January 02 2020

Now that the festive season is behind us it’s time to look forward to Window Wanderland to brighten up those dark winter nights.
From Saturday 29 February to Monday 2 March the windows of Bishopston will be lit up with an array of beautiful and creative artwork, and you are invited to participate. We’re looking forward to bringing the community together again for this special event; transforming everyday streets into dazzling outdoor galleries, where anything goes and you never know what's around the next corner. Thanks again to local sponsors Boston Tea Party, Lunar Optical, Kendall Harper, Joe’s Bakery and Bristol Sash Window Company for helping this to happen.
Window Wanderland was started right here in Bishopston by local set designer, Lucy Reeves Khan. The event was inspired by her vivid imagination, her deep-seated community spirit and her personal experiences of isolation due to years of chronic illness. Lucy imagined her local streets alive with other people viewing dramatic, beautiful or just silly scenes in the windows and gardens around her neighbourhood. She wondered if, in the dark of winter, these displays would cheer up others too. Lucy put on her first event and it was a huge success. Word has spread, and other areas across the country and the world have now joined in, making a local community event into a global phenomenon.
Dozens of local people across Bishopston have already signed up for the 2020 event and together our windows will form a wonderful winter walking trail. You don’t have to be an awesome artist; anyone can get involved. You could use tried and tested black card silhouettes, colourful tissue paper, material, sculpture, video, pets or even yourself to make a display. Or, you could join up with others on your street and collaborate with your own theme.
Last year Melita Road featured a murmuration along the length of the street with birds taking off at number 1 and landing at number 11. Resident, Cath says:  “The beauty of a small street is that it’s easy to get to know everybody. Our road is only eleven houses long. For a while I thought about taking part in Window Wanderland and it struck me that it would look great if my next door neighbour took part too and we could somehow join our window pictures together. At a Christmas party I asked more neighbours If they were interested in joining in there was an overwhelming “Yes”!  
“We had a planning evening to get the ball rolling and came up with a simple theme which threaded through all the upstairs windows in the road. The idea snowballed and everyone got busy.  No. 10 bought black sugar paper, No, 2 sourced tissue paper, No. 7 visited the scrap store and we had another get together to make templates. No. 2 sourced spray mount, No. 3 made an emergency run for extra tissue paper and we had an afternoon of silhouette cutting. We shared ideas for glue removal on WhatsApp and sent tips for best ways to light up the windows. The weekend of Wanderland came - cold and rainy - but then darkness fell and the street looked magical!  We stood out in the road smiling and chatting; talking to relative strangers who came by to look.  And best of all, we fostered a new culture of neighbourliness in the depths of winter!”
As a Leap Year special on Saturday 29 February, there will be a Window Wanderland Warmer at Alchemy 198 Gloucester Road. Join friends and neighbours to swap tales of your favourite windows, enjoy delicious homemade soup and a reviving drink or two. There will be live music from local band Woody & the Firesticks playing covers of your favourite tunes to get you dancing. The evening is for grown ups but families are welcome to enjoy hot drinks, cakes and snacks any time before 8pm.
If you want to make a display make sure you sign up on the website by visiting: www.windowwanderland.com/event/bishopston-bristol-2020 and click on ‘Take part in this event’. This ensures that your location can be uploaded onto the online map, and visitors can add your window to their tour of magnificent displays. You’ll get a Welcome Pack when you sign in and access to lots of inspiration for windows, as well as membership of Children’s Scrapstore for 4 weeks before the event. And, don’t forget to tell your friends and neighbours and ask them to get involved too.
We hope you will join us in this magical event. Whatever you do it will be seen and appreciated by those who wrap up warm for an interesting evening stroll. Anything goes…as long as it’s family friendly. Remember – you don’t have to be artistic, just join in and have fun!