December 1 2016

Tate Britain Unveils an Upside Down, Floating Christmas Tree

Let the festivities begin! The #1 museum I have yet to visit, Tate Britain, just unveiled its centerpiece to the holiday season. It asked Iranian-born artist Shirazeh Houshiary to hang her version of the Christmas Tree. A stunning pine tree was turned upside down and had its roots covered in bright gold leaf. It hangs from the glass ceiling in the Millbank entrance and is meant to be appreciated from different perspectives at three levels of the gallery, the tip of the tree from the lower floor, the floating body from the ground, and the glittering roots from the upper floor.

As for the artist, she said, “I would like us to contemplate that the pine tree is one of the oldest species and recognize the roots are the source of its continued stability, nourishment and longevity.

“As the roots remain hidden, it is best to seek what is hidden rather than what is apparent. As a Buddhist monk wrote, ‘An old pine tree preaches wisdom.'”

Houshiary’s tree will be displayed near works by prominent British artists such as Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Alison Wilding, and marks the start of a new series of festive commissions for Tate Britain.

Staff members pose for photographs at the unveiling of a Christmas tree by Iranian-born artist Shirazeh Houshiary, in the Rotunda at Tate Britain gallery in London, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. The tree is part of the gallery's annual festive commissions and the first for a few years after the gallery space was renovated. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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I love unusual, show-stopping pieces like this!

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