Ely to have its first Window Wanderland!

The Stained Glass Museum and Babylon ARTS are calling all Ely residents to make an illuminated window display in their home as part of Ely’s first Window Wanderland. 

The two organisations have teamed up to bring this fun family-friendly event, that takes place in towns and villages across the UK, to the city. Window Wonderland sees communities create illuminated displays in windows. People can use the street- facing windows of their home, business, school, nursery, car, shop, or even their door, or front garden. A map showing the locations of illuminated window displays is then created to form an after-dark walking trail and community event, transforming local streets into galleries. 

Successful Window Wanderland events have been organised by community groups across the UK since 2015, when the first event was held in Bristol. Ely’s first Window Wanderland is being organised and promoted by two of the city’s arts organisations, The Stained Glass Museum and Babylon ARTS. 

Ely’s first window Wanderland will take place over the evenings of Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th October. Everyone is encouraged to get involved by illuminating their street-facing windows between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, creating an after-dark walking trail of glowing windows. 

As Jasmine Allen, Director & Curator at the Stained Glass Museum explained: “Taking part is free and everyone is welcome. We would especially encourage resident families, local businesses, and community groups such as guides, brownies, scouts, to take part by creating an illuminated window display for this special event.” 

She added: “If you’re planning on transforming a window for Ely Window Wanderland please sign up on our Window Wanderland event page so that we can map participants on our website and create a local trail. Then get planning your window display! If you have any questions please refer them to: Elywindowwanderland@gmail.com 

Claire Somerville, Chief Executive of Babylon ARTS added: “If you’re wondering what to make, it can be as simple or as spectacular as you like, as long as it’s family friendly. You can use carefully-crafted tissue paper or tracing paper images, make a sign, handprints, use your recycling materials, or a projector. For tips go to https://www.windowwanderland.com/make/ The best displays can be the simplest. For ideas and inspiration go to the Window Wanderland website https://www.windowwanderland.com/gallery/ ” 

The two organisations felt that it was especially important to organize an event like this, at this time; as Jasmine states: Many groups and venues have had to cancel events in the past few months. Window Wanderland is an event we can all participate in by creating art within our houses and communities to be seen from the outside; creating a fun temporary after-dark art trail in our city. 

“During the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown period the thresholds of our homes have become important cultural spaces. Standing at the intersection of the private and the public, at a time when our means of social connection and collective cultural engagement have been drastically reduced, over the last few months we have seen windows and doorways used repeatedly as sites of creativity and communication. 

“We have seen windows filled with rainbow art works of hope, with displays commemorating VE day, celebrating the NHS, illuminated in remembrance of those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, and to protest that Black Lives Matter. Many of us have stood on our front door steps to clap with our neighbours in recognition of the service of others; we have walked our streets and looked at them anew. 

“These displays have allowed us a sense of togetherness in our isolation and hope in our uncertain present, as well as enabling community creativity. We hope Window Wanderland will create a fun event this October half-term, and hope that it might become an annual event for the city of Ely.” 

Press release from The Stained Glass Museum and Babylon ARTS

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