Christmas shops are crammed with shoppers, Christmas lights are lit, Santa’s Grottos are full of Santas and all your little grots, and so it’s about time that the Christmas trees were unleashed.
Normally decorum prevails and trees are kept back until December, but this year a Christmas starved public has forced the whole process forward least a week and so The Connaught is the first (of oh so many, all of which we’ll be copiously covering) to unveil their annual tree. And it’s predictably artsy and impressive, as the Connaught’s trees invariably are.
The nine-metre Nordmann Fir dominates Carlos Place and has been designed by London-based artist duo Annie Morris and Idris Khan who are friends of the Connaught. Labour has been divided between the pair, with the base created by Khan and the decorations by Morris.
Designed by London-based artist duo Annie Morris and Idris Khan who are friends of the Connaught...
The decoration consists of three of Annie Morris’s Stack sculptures (they’re kind of her thing) and her usual irregular spheres, precariously arranged into tall columns, and painted in vivid hues, have been translated into 2D to become stylish baubles, first free drawn by Morris and then handmade into painted wood for the finished effect.
The decorations are individually lit, the larger ones with over 1,600 lights, and they are stacked with staggering scale and a precariousness that represents ‘the idea of uncertainty that has come to define our lives, particularly as a result of the pandemic, and that beauty can be born from the unknown and positive light can be found in the darkness’.
The tree tops off with a shining figure which represents one of Morris’s ‘Flower Women’ a recurring motif that appears in her work. And normally that would be where the tree description ends, except that the base is equally notable.
Idris Khan OBE has poured as much effort into the base as his partner has with the nine metres above it...
Conscious that the base is so often the forgotten hero where Christmas trees are concerned, Idris Khan OBE has poured as much effort into the base as his partner has with the nine metres above it.
Taking the theme of ‘support’, the base both literally and figuratively reinforces Morris’s sculptures above by representing ‘the love and support at the very heart of relationships and family’.
The two-way infinity mirror, illuminated in Khan’s signature blue, is engraved with the words ‘Merry Christmas’ translated into over a hundred languages and creating multiple layers of script as an illustration of faiths and cultures coming together over Christmas.
Claridge's (the king of the Christmas tree) will be unveiling their own iconic take on the festive symbol later this week...
And that’s not all! We have it on good authority that Claridge’s (the king of the Christmas tree) will be unveiling their own iconic take on the festive symbol later this week. The big unveiling will take place on Wednesday and the tree is the work of Dior’s Kim Jones. ‘The Celestial Snow Globe’ promises to include holographic projections and a white Toile.
We’ll report back when we know more! But one thing’s clear: it’s Christmas tree season!