I love the current set of windows at Selfridges, curated by It’s Nice That magazine. The concept is based around words, not the most visual of ideas you might think, but they’ve done a beautiful job.
The best bit is the Word-A-Coaster, a lovely little miniature rollercoaster that carries around 50,000 individual fortunes:
I particularly enjoyed this as it brought back happy student memories of riding the Crazy Mouse, the exceedingly rickety wooden coaster on Brighton Pier, which threatens to dump you into the sea at any moment.
Each fortune is contained inside a colourful plastic orb, a bigger version of the ones that dispense plastic necklaces and bubblegum to small excited children everywhere. You have to go inside the shop and pull a lever to get one – mine said that my future would be ‘Pop-up’, which seemed quite apt for the whole experience.
The Ultralounge has been transformed into a shop, selling typewriters, pens, notebooks, prints, and other wordy paraphernalia. There’s some amazing typewriter art by Keira Rathbone.
She creates pictures by typing them onto the page. It’s incredible huh?
They also had a nice selection of prints and gifts. I was very tempted to buy one of these letter keyrings, but managed to resist.
I was really taken with this mini exhibition, as combining words and visuals is something I’ve been thinking about a lot.
I’d always describe myself as the sort of person who would read the curator’s label next to a painting before even looking at the artwork, but I’ve really focused on developing my visual side over the last few years, and there’s something very rewarding about using both parts of the brain in this way.
Language can be used in an analytical and descriptive way, but it can also be creative and evocative (poetry!). Visual information can be wordless and emotive, but it can also be incredibly technical and precise (architectural drawings and infographics, for instance). There’s so many interesting ways to combine the two.
Anyway, if you’re on Oxford Street I recommend popping in for a look.
EDITED TO ADD:
I forgot to say that they are also running a workshop programme, with two crafty events of interest:
– An embroidery lesson on Friday 17 February
I might try and book for the latter, anybody else keen?