'Our Tiny Windows' Making a Huge Impression!
Updated: Mar 12
Photos: Mia Davies Photography
Taking a stroll around Leigh-on-Sea right now, it is impossible not to be stopped in your tracks by the stunning window art adorning various shops by Ash Fields, aka 'Our Tiny Windows'. A little wander and you'll see winter themes such as skiing, ‘The Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe‘ or a reminder to wear your masks! Ash's 'windows' can be seen in Westcliff-on-Sea, Chalkwell and Leigh-on-Sea and are also spreading further afield in Essex.
An exciting community ‘window trail’ project in Leigh-on-Sea is planned for December, with approximately 30 shop windows featuring Ash’s art. Follow the trail, collect a unique rubber stamp from each participating shop and enter a prize draw!
Ash previously co-owned Leigh coffee shop ‘Barlow & Fields’ and has a long-standing connection to the town’s community. He has always loved drawing and dabbled with A-board and window designs for the coffee shop. Last year he decided to focus on his passion of becoming an artist and exploring his creativity full time.
A focus on photography arose during a period of travel and he successfully exhibited these upon his return at Leigh gallery '70 The Broadway'. He also ventured into portrait and wedding photography, illustration and a print series.
However, a winter window design for Leigh’s ‘Corner Club' coffee shop last December gained huge attention and commissions have been flooding in ever since. Over the past year, his designs have been seen frequently in the local area on the windows of coffee shops, hairdressers, beauty salons ,,,,
This work is important to Ash in maintaining his connection to the community. Along with collaborating with business owners, his practice provides a talking point with passers-by. Although living just up the road in Westcliff, "Leigh feels like home. If you spend enough time there, you can't help but bump into someone you know. The current lockdown seems to be making each other more friendly - lots of people stop, ask about my work and ask for my card. There are lots of creatives in Leigh who appreciate the small and the craft".
Orders paused with the first lockdown but Ash continued to use his creativity in the community - going back to photography to create the series 'Portraits from Afar' - portraits of residents on their doorsteps. "This was great", he says, "as I could still go out and talk and communicate with people while sticking to the rules".
Since late summer, the demand for window art has returned. Ash loves the opportunity to create a unique piece each time and likes to push himself by playing with and trying new styles. The process also allows him to combine controlled and fluid design - using both a pre-printed centrepiece as a guide plus freehand work. The actual creation can take up to a few days and requires much patience. Upon request from a local school, he currently has the assistance of a pupil on work experience, which again demonstrates his love of community.
A return to exploring photography is planned for next year, especially portraiture along with wedding photography using a candid, reportage style. "Being creative is where I find my slow”, Ash states. "It's where I feel my best. I love bouncing off inspiration - scouring different platforms and seeing what excites me".
Local businesses are remaining positive in this second lockdown and even shops that have been forced to close once again are commissioning work as a reminder of their presence in the community. With Ash's similar positivity and determination, I'm sure the trail will be available in some form, whatever happens - Leigh Culture will keep you posted :-) If you’d like some wonder with your daily exercise in the meantime, take a wander around Leigh-on-Sea and Chalkwell and look for Ash's windows so far :-)
You can find out more about Ash on his main Instagram account - ourtinyservant,
To check out his window art design on Instagram - go to ourtinywindows