Take a break from Christmas shopping and stop off at Habitat’s new Platform gallery on the King’s Road in Chelsea. Until the new year, a filmic installation of over 70 colourful, seasonal photographs of starry decorations and festive street scenes by Barbara Chandler will be on display.
The projected images are a collection of atmospheric winter photography, taken in cities throughout Europe, including in London, Paris, Sicily, Venice, Barcelona, St Petersburg, Greece, and Warsaw. Setting the mood is an innovative soundtrack by London’s cool DJ Wongtom.
“Stars were and are everywhere,” says Chandler, “on the tops of trees, in windows and in giant illuminations.”
To this stellar line-up are added joyous images of street musicians, carol singers, shoppers and shop windows – sharply-observed yet affectionate, often witty and a touch surreal.
Hanging on the walls are poignant mounted and framed signed prints of winter scenes in town and country (many in black-and-white), including Tower Bridge in the fog, Hampstead Heath on Boxing Day, Stonehenge, and the Northumberland and Lancashire coasts.
And with a touch of pantomime, Chandler's supersize Christmas card (probably the biggest in London) has images for all the family to enjoy. There is also an “image trail” for children around the gallery, and Christmas family workshops by [re]design.
Photography from STARS is also on exclusive textiles at Habitat, including three tea towels (£8 each), two cushions (£25 each), two tote bags (£10 each) and an apron (£15).
These beautifully-rendered images are as vivid as a photographic print on paper, but, on textiles, are more reasonable in price. Exclusive and original, they are perfect to set a Christmas scene at home, or to give away as presents. Use tea towels as table runners, dress a festive chair, pop a present(s) in a tote bag, and wear a starry apron for your Christmas cooking.
Chandler says: “Everywhere I look I see a picture. It has always been obsessive and taking the photographs is compulsive. This installation is the result of many years of winter visual meanderings. I love the way photography so immediately connects with the viewer."
"I have developed my textiles so that even more people can experience the thrill of a photographic print – albeit on an eminently affordable tea towel or cushion.“
STARS By Barbara Chandler
From Tuesday 20 November to January 5, 2013, at The Platform Gallery, Habitat, 208 Kings Road, London SW3 5XP; habitat.co.uk/platform.
Open Monday-Friday, 10am-7pm; late night Wednesday 8pm; Saturday 9.30am-6.30pm; Sunday 12 noon–6pm.
Visit barbarachandler.co.uk and lovelondon.uk.com.