When you live in apartment complexes sometimes you're lucky enough to have windows on two sides but it's rare to have all of them overlooking mountains, rivers, or forests. We spent nearly eight years living in an especially nice townhouse where our bedroom had the mountain/river view. The back room, however, the one that served as our guest room/movie viewing/game playing space looked out on cat walk accesses to other apartments and would presumably allow people to look inside our lighted room. The good news was that window was at the end of a 'U' and faced west.
I don't like blinds and most curtains are boring; stained glass would have been perfect but I didn't have any so what I decided to do that first spring was to make something that would mimic its effect but be light enough to rustle like leaves when the window was opened.
How did I do it? tissue paper, transparent inks, bristol board, polymer varnish, and butcher's string. I spread plastic all over the living room floor and sprayed many dozens of tissue paper with a solution of ink and water. As they dried I stacked them and sprayed more. The process to get enough took weeks. Meanwhile, I cut wide ovals, and long rectangles from the bristol board, hollowing each one to about half an inch. Once there was enough colored tissue I laid the ovals etc. on the plastic, painted the edges with varnish and began layering torn pieces of the thin paper varnishing the whole. Each piece you see here was layered 6 times between front and back. As the groups were finished I trimmed the excess tissue and hole punched for the string.
The target date for finishing the project was midsummer's day when I knew it would light up as the sun moved across the building. This is the photograph I took that afternoon of my little personal installation called 'Summer Gate'. It's gone now but I'm glad of the picture.
This one isn't so pretty, nor was it as complicated to make, but by the time we moved here I was thinking about prayer flags. Every other panel says Om Mane Padme Om in Tibetan script and on a summer day like this one it's nice to imagine blessings on the warm breezes coming through the kitchen window. The extra good news is they blow both ways. I like to imagine every little bit helps.