Thursday, October 11, 2012
How To Design A Shop Window Display
I love rummaging round charity shops.
Every Saturday morning I descend on my local high street’s umpteeniness of clutter-filled retailers dressed in old clothes purchased previously for less than it would take to groom an average cat.
In these moments I am Ernest Jackson, a retired factory worker with a gammy leg, on the hunt for a new set of dentures. Thusly disguised, I rummage through the nick-nacks and ornaments, the bobbly crimplene trousers and the anoraks, rubbing shoulders with blue rinsed old ladies and destitute souls from the underclass desperate for jigsaws to help feed their families.
I admit it’s a sort of a game, a theatrical exercise involving a method acting fullness of stubble, cheap deodorant and underwear even a strongman couldn’t bend.
“Morning Vera,” I’ll say to the woman in Spare The Mortally Duffed. “How’s your husband’s allotment?” — then we’ll converse about everything from the price of sliced bread to her sister’s cousin’s daughter’s boyfriend’s dad’s ex-wife’s massively swollen haemorrhoids.
“Can you reach me down that porcelain dog?” It’s another shop, another covert Ernest Jackson adventure.
“No,” I’ll reply. “I’m a bit knocked about from my tablets this morning.”
And so it goes from the trio of mortal death related charity shops at the top of the street to The Badger Trust by the bus station. I never cease to be amazed by the dedication of the staff and their zeal for sorting Betamax videos into almost alphabetical order. Alchemists of tat, they can transform any random selection of chipped and tarnished ornaments into themed window displays without dropping a single biscuit crumb from their lips.
Here’s my favourite window display of the week — as arranged by Eunice Bates from OCD Alert! OCD Alert! OCD Alert! OCD Alert! OCD Alert! OCD Alert! OCD Alert!
Her positioning of these crap, crap pigs perfectly captures the dynamic of planets around a sun or sub-atomic particles close to a nucleus. Each pig is placed just so, an individual statement of porcine grandeur, yet also part of a coherent and integrated collective.
As for the Kung Fu guys: fucking genius.