We are so very close to Christmas now and we are all feeling the festive spirit, very much at the office. Our tree has been decorated and the workplace is looking like a winter wonderland! Continuing the festive mood that we find ourselves in, we have had a look at what the capital has decided to do for the festivities, in particular what “feature” trees they have on display. Having seen so many inspiring ones (really putting our little tree to shame in the lobby), we have narrowed our favourites to a “Top 5” list. Come take a look…
“Fighting Fire with Ice Cream” by Alex Chinneck
British sculptor Alex Chinneck created a giant “ice cube” with a tree inside it at King’s Cross this year. The artist’s impressive sculpture stands at 17 ft tall and is adorned with 1200 lights. The ice effect is created with resin that “trickles” into the fountains on Granary Square, emphasising the illusion of melting ice. Chinneck may have used the tree being “stuck in a melting block of ice” as a symbol of new beginnings that a new year often promises…. Truly inspiring!
“I wanted to create an installation for King’s Cross that was visually and theatrically intertwined with the fountains of Granary Square.”
“Victorian Iron Tree” by StudioXAG
Situated in the V&A Museum, the tree takes Britain back to her industrial heritage. The iron structure is a significant reference to the Industrial Revolution and the decadent attention to detail within the sculpture highlights the “Gothic” obsession that the Victorians loved so much.
“Dressed with bespoke, handmade decorations, the spotlight metal trees incorporate motifs from the museum’s iron roof framework, celebrating Victorian Britain’s leading role in advanced engineering and technology.”
"Upside-Down Christmas Tree" by Shirazeh Houshiary
Hung in Tate Britain, the Christmas tree has a little twist: It’s upside-down! Keeping the decorations to a minimum, Houshiary ensure that the main focus becomes the natural elements of the tree itself; the colour, texture, smell and shape. The talented Iranian artist has enforced focus on the roots by making them gold, highlighting where “the source of life comes from”. Being suspended between the gallery floors, the exhibit allows the opportunity for viewers to see the feature piece from various angles.
“As the roots remain hidden, it is best to seek what is hidden than what is apparent.”
"Claridge’s Christmas Tree 2016" by Sir Jony Ive & Marc Newson
Over the last few years, it has been tradition for a designer to design the Christmas tree for the luxurious Claridge’s Hotel. Sir Jony Ive and Marc Newson have created much more than just a tree this year and have instead installed a “Winter Forest” throughout the hotel lobby as you enter. Sir Jony Ive is the Chief Design Officer at Apple and Marc Newson is one of the World’s most influential industrial designers. Their magical, snow covered forest is a creation that emphasises what can be crafted when art and technology are infused. A magnificent masterpiece.
“Our aim was to create an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition while recognising our excitement about the future ad things to come.”
"The Connaught Christmas Tree 2016" by Antony Gormley
Designed by British sculptor Antony Gormley, the impressive Western Red Cedar tree is 17.5 ft tall and originates from Shropshire. Situated outside the Connaught Hotel on Mount Street, rather than having decorated the outside of the tree, bright light ascends the tree trunk instead, creating a column of light. Taking a different approach to decorating a tree, having the trunk light up creates the illusion of the tree being struck by lightning, in turn creating a striking effect within the heart of Mayfair…. Beautiful!