Since early last century when Fifth Avenue stores recruited artists to create interest and intrigue in their windows we have been colliding the worlds of fine art and commerce in the ever increasingly competitive display of shop windows.

I love a great window display and take lots photos of them

There are those who would hold dear in their memories the annual pilgrimage to the city department stores to view the Christmas windows; invoking a sense of theatre and awe around holiday time.The importance of the window is still there, even when online, it needs to change to keep visual interest (we become blind to anything that is routine).

In our recent travels we were lucky enough to see the Tower of Babel installation at the V&A Museum. England has often been referred to as a nation of shopkeepers, whether this is interpreted as derogatory or not us up to the English but this incredible piece puts centre stage the importance of shopping.

“Standing as a monument to the great British pastime of shopping, Barford’s apparently precarious Tower playfully likens our efforts to find fulfilment through retail with the biblical Tower of Babel’s attempt to reach heaven.”

A link here to check out the detail; focusing on a shop a day.

Wandering around the streets of Dublin, York and London I noted the different experience of space that made the windows seem somehow more important. Could it be that the density and intensity of living with so many more people makes the displays visual offerings seem so rich and colourful?

I don’t know if it’s the contrast to the sometimes grey skies that makes the street shops look so bright or the fact that the squares of colour and light are smaller and therefore pack a greater punch. It might just be that I am on holiday and therefore a bit more relaxed in observations.

This article gives some great tips on keeping is simple and appropriate to the season  no matter what your business or your budget. My pet hate in both art hanging and window arrangements; not getting things at the right height for the eyes!

Favourite windows? In Sydney I love to watch the Hermes displays change. What about you?