One of the most enjoyable parts of the festive season is undoubtedly the countdown to Christmas. This year, St William will be taking part in the Nine Elms Art Ministry Advent Calendar, following the success of last year's inaugural initiative.
From 1st to 24th December, a new advent window will be revealed online at 5pm each day, and from 5th December all 25 windows can be seen live across local businesses, schools, offices, community centres and cafés - once again showcasing the Nine Elms community and local artists with a walking trail of beautiful windows and installations.
This year's theme is 'Light in the Darkness', a brief taken for Prince of Wales Drive by Courtauld-educated artist Saskia Jiggens, whose installation takes pride of place at the concierge entrance.
With a central star motif, the display takes inspiration from the Latin phrase "per aspera ad astra", meaning "through hardships to the stars"; a sentiment that felt particularly apt for 2020. A classic Christmas time emblem and universal symbol of protection - used historically in celestial navigation to guide travellers' home - it is this idea of returning to a place of safety and reuniting with loved ones that forms the core foundation of Saskia's design.
Prior to the unveiling Saskia gave Prince of Wales Drive residents wooden stars and invited them to "wish upon a star" by illustrating their wishes and messages of gratitude. The residents' stars "light up" the window, representing a community drawn together.
Paying homage to the heritage of Nine Elms and the history of Prince of Wales Drive, the display features a gasometer bearing the shield of Robert Morton, the engineer for the London Gas Light and Coke Company who designed the original industrial structures on the site. Alongside, hand-crafted latticework replicates the skeleton framework that still stands at Prince of Wales today.
St William is proud to support the work of the Nine Elms Arts Ministry, an emerging community exploring the arts and social justice in the heart of the local area.
Capturing the spirit of Christmas, the Nine Elms Art Ministry Advent Calendar offers residents, visitors and the community a truly unique way to explore and experience the area, following the light around illuminated local landmarks such as Prince of Wales Drive, Battersea Power Station, along the River Thames and Battersea Park Library.
This year, many steps have been put in place to ensure all visitors can safely enjoy the advent displays. Visitors can walk the trail in their households or social bubbles, follow the calendar online, learn about the incredible artists, join in lots of festive activities and even decorate their own window around the theme. So, whatever your plans in the lead up to Christmas, come down to Nine Elms and let the light in this Christmas.
To find out more about the trail and download the map please follow #NineElmsAdvent and visit: www.nineelmsartsministry.org
Window 9: Prince of Wales Drive Concierge, Kensington House, 3 Palmer Road, SW11 4FA