MYER is Australia’s largest department store with the flagship store in Bourke Street Mall, Mellbourne. Each year, like many other stores, they feature Christmas displays, often animated, telling a story. This year is the 60th year and I specifically visited the frantic Christmas gift department on Level 6 on hot Saturday 3 weeks before Christmas.
This year’s Christmas window story is based on a children’s book written by Corinne Fenton, an author friend of my sketching friend Juliet Sampson. The reason I was so interested were the illustrations by Robin Cowcher. Robin also had the opportunity to sketch behind the scenes during the making of the windows. They were doing a book signing for an hour at MYER. This was all too interesting for me to resist!
I bought my copy of the book, had it signed by both author and illustrator and mentioned to them my vague connection. I then tried to find a space out of the shopping crowds (as best I could) and sketched them signing books for other people.
I only stayed half a hour as the crowds were a bit overwhelming.
Outside there was long controlled queue of adults, children and prams lined up to see the windows. In this way, people walk past the windows that are telling the story without having to stand in a five-deep crowd. I stood up on a bench to sketch this. The colour was added at home.
I plan to return during the week, on the way to work when there are no crowds. I will enjoy the story and the windows and sketch more then.
Here is the story in the window:
Little Dog and Jonathan are best friends. They do everything together but on Christmas Eve Little Dog finds himself lost and alone in a busy city. How will he find his way home? Set in the 1950s and featuring some of Melbourne well known landmarks, this charming and nostalgic Christmas story by Corinne Fenton is perfectly complemented by delightful ink and watercolour illustrations by Robin Cowcher. (source http://www.myer.com.au/shop/mystore/kids-books/walker-books-little-dog-and-the-christmas-wish-by-cornne-fenton-and-robin-cowcher-(hardback))
There is an indepth behind the scenes article in The Age newspaper if you want to know more about it all.