What Is Home ?

I’m very excited to lift the lid a little on a project that’s been taking shape over the last couple of months. Lakes International Comic Arts Festival runs a Window Trail each year, in which artists are paired with local businesses, and get to decorate their window fronts in a way that reflect both the comics medium and the business itself.

This year, I’ve been paired with Kendal YWCA, who operate a Resource centre that includes a cafe and local business resources including a conference room. On the upper floor, Impact Housing Association – also collaborating on this exhibition – provide supported accommodation for young homeless people.

The cafe area has some big, impressive window frontage, with a beautiful curve of 10 panels across the front of the building, and several other full-length surfaces looking onto, and within, the public space of the cafe. It’s the closest thing I’ve encountered in real, physical comics to an infinite canvas! You can see some of the big window in the photos below.

The display will be something between a comic strip, and abstract art installation and a crossword puzzle, readable from both the inside and outside.

Something like this …

For the subject matter, I’ve stuck with my improvisation approach, and sent out a questionnaire to the various participants in the building : office staff, residents, the cafe people, and small businesses who use the cafe facilities, getting their ideas on the topic of “home”. And, as usual with my improv work, what a lot of interesting answers have come back.

A few (very preliminary) images below, that may end up in the exhibition. They aren’t in any particular order here, and won’t be arranged in 2×3 grids in their final form (and a few are without words for now). This might look like a lot of images, but it’s still a small section of the final exhibition.






This is, as ever, a collaborative work, with the actors from Kendal Community Theatre, and photography from Paul Want, Alan Walker, Julie Walker, Tim Hancock (and myself) all playing a big part.

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