“The idea started when some people came around asking us to fund this year’s Christmas lights,” says Michael Ptootch, of his latest project. It promises a fabulous explosion of art and craft for sale by eighteen different creators, plus entertainment and quality food and drinks (courtesy of Knowhere Special) into the small hours this weekend at his high street gallery/hair salon.
It’s being held in uncustomary good timing for those first present-buying sortie of the festive season, too.
“Twinkling lights are all very nice,” continues Michael, “but do you really think they are going to encourage people to actually do their Christmas shopping on this strip?” Far better, thought the art-loving hairdresser, to invest his resources in putting together a creative retail experience of his very own vision.
Galleria at Flaxon Ptootch will see talented locals including Mark Waddell (the artist behind the poetic estate agent-style signs that have graced the streets of Kentish Town), Alexandra Kidd (who runs London Bead Co just up the high street) and ceramicist Cat Santos (of the 5th Column t-shirt factory formerly located above the tube) who has designed a beautiful ‘Kentish Dish’ especially for this occasion.
And look out for Barry The Cactus, “a project that started its journey in the legendary Christmas window last year at Ptootch, and now has a concession in Top Shop,” says Michael, like a proud cactus daddy.
Befitting the event’s artistic bent, a series of rather glorious promotional posters has been created, and we’ve added a selection of them here. Make sure you scroll through the lot (above) for more examples of the work available at the Galleria, and get down there this weekend. It’s sure to be very festive.
Meanwhile, the unfortunate campaign to get shop owners to fund Xmas lighting via a crowdfunding platform seems to have stalled – at a grand total of £25. Seems like there are more exciting ways to stimulate consumers in Kentish Town than chucking cash at a superficial bit of of twinkle on the lampposts.