FORTNUM & MASON SUPPORTS THE VISUAL ARTS COMMUNITY BY INVITING THEATRE SET DESIGNERS TO
CREATE A LITTLE JOY
Fortnum’s, with its famous Piccadilly store at the heart of London’s theatre land has always been committed to serving the arts and has supported and championed generations of artists and designers over the decades.
During the pandemic many of the creative industries have been put on hold, a lot of very talented people have had little or no support or creative outlet.
So, Fortnum & Mason, the home of joy-giving things and unforgettable experiences, has offered the creative community a canvas to bring their extraordinary talents to life by inviting theatre set designers to produce window installations based on a one-word creative brief – Joy.
The designers were encouraged to focus on their personal interpretations of joy (which we could all do with a little more of at the moment) whatever that may be, and the results range from thedramatic and surreal to everyday, almost unnoticed moments.
Alex Berry’s window is a tribute to the power of community and to all the people who work behind the scenes to bring joy into our lives.
The six designers were given one window each, and the resulting windows see joy interpreted in six different ways with one single intent; to bring to life a feeling of joy through the artist’s installations.
The selected designers – Jon Bausor, Alex Berry, Jean Chan, April Dalton, Samuel Wilde and Tahra Zafar – are amongst the UK’s most esteemed creatives for theatre and stage.
They are behind the scenes designers of many of the world’s most treasured productions in live events, theatre, cinema, and television, including the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, and Bat Out Of Hell.
Tahra Zafar’s window is inspired by the small, gentle parts of life and captures the moment when a parent puts a child to bed in a cosy room and gives comfort with love and best wishes for a night’s sleep.
April Dalton’s window is inspired by the natural world, showing nature prevailing and that the seasons carry on despite whatever problems the world is facing.
Fortnum & Mason typically art direct and creatively control every single aspect of their world famous window displays, but in this instance the creative responsibility was completely handed over to the artists.
‘Joy is at the heart of everything we do, and there’s no question that right now we all need a little more of it in our lives. These times are incredibly hard for everyone and so we wanted to show our appreciation and support of the arts and artists we have missed so greatly. We hope that by doing what we can to provide a platform to these artists and showcasing their talent and interpretation of joy it underlines the importance of the visual arts to all of our lives and provides a little escapism for those that encounter them”
Zia Zareem-Slade, Customer Experience Director, Fortnum & Mason.
Jon Bausor’s window is centred around the theme of light and brilliance, creating a kaleidoscopic display using a multi-colour mirror.
Sam Wilde’s window is a theatre full of scenes of everyday joy from the year, told with a silent cinema/Victorian circus aesthetic and inspired by the overlooked everyday joys in life.
The pandemic has been a particularly difficult time for the arts, with so many talented set designers and theatre freelancers left without work. The windows serve as a welcome reminder of the brilliant talent within our creative industries, whilst offering the six designers an opportunity to use their skills to connect with people once again.
‘It’s been such a difficult time for everyone, and an especially devastating time for those working in the arts, so this is a wonderful way to bring some theatre to our streets.’
Alex Berry, Set & Costume Designer.
The Fortnum’s windows on Piccadilly are world famous. They were the first store in the country to
create visual displays in their windows, investing in gas lighting to show them off.
ABOUT FORTNUM & MASON:
First founded in Piccadilly in 1707, Fortnum & Mason has remained an essential London destination for anyone in search of extraordinary food, joy-giving things and exceptional service ever since. From the food halls and confectionery counters to the beautiful fragrance, beauty and fashion floor and refined Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, Fortnum’s seeks to make the everyday special. Celebrated for its famous teas, Scotch eggs, handmade chocolates, and wicker hampers, the iconic brand is committed to the imagination and discovery that has seen it through 312 years of history – and today, Fortnum’s continues to expand to new outposts at home and abroad, from London’s The Royal Exchange to the stand-alone store in Hong Kong's K11 Musea. Proud of its storied past and innovating still, Fortnum’s mission remains to deliver a sense of pleasure to every customer, whether they’re shopping in-store or from around the world at the award winning