London’s tallest LED Christmas tree is unveiled in Wembley Park
Winterfest is cancelled but Wembley’s specially-commissioned digital artwork is casting much-needed light on the dark winters evenings
Due to Covid-19 Winterfest and the "Reflections of the Future” have been postponed to November 2021, but “United in Light” is allowing the Christmas spirit to prevail by bringing spectacular festive illuminations to the Wembley area.
Proudly illuminating Wembley Park the unmissable LED tree, located outside London Designer Outlet, is fittingly entitled “The Hopeful Tree.” Put up as part of Winterfest, a free light festival for all to enjoy, visitors can even enjoy walking through the tallest LED tree in the capital.
At 25 meters tall “The Hopeful Tree” is the tallest LED Christmas tree with a bespoke, kinetic 100,000 LED light display, which is showcasing the newly commissioned digital artwork called ‘‘Aurora Arbour” from London-based artist Siân Bliss who has based the design on the “spectacular and magical movements of a winter night’s sky”, a concept based on the fact that we can all see the same sky, even when we’re separated.
Continuing the cheer, the concept includes digital animations and illustrations featuring sunrises, moon cycles and aurora borealis across Bobby Moore Bridge in Wembley Park, four digital totems and fourteen LED banners ornamenting Olympic Way.
Picture perfect selfie-spots are guaranteed to bring festive joy to Wembley Park, including a 3-metre tall heart sculpture (“LoveSpot… Under the Mistletoe”) adorned with mistletoe and beating festive-red lights, a giant gift-box shaped cube (“Star Box”) filled to the brim with lights, an enormous “Bauble” on Weaver Walk that allows visitors to step inside and “Angel Wings”, located outside the new Wembley Park Market Emporium, on Market Square, and aimed at uplifting visitors spirits.
In a year of uncertainty and social distancing, part of Wembley’s Christmas display is aimed at finding happiness in the continual solidarity. “United in Light” sees an Instagram-led artwork unveiled on its Spanish Steps (a public artwork commissioned in collaboration with mental health charity Mind), which connects the national stadium with the The SSE Arena.
The joyful artwork, created by east London-based artist Tash Randolph, will feature hundreds of self-illustrated faces placed side-by-side to represent the community uniting to face the Covid-19 pandemic. To create this artwork, Instagram users were invited to draw their self-portraits on Instagram stories, and from a distance the illuminated artwork gives the illusion of a rainbow climbing the stairs, while up close it reveals the detail of each individual that took the time to submit a self-portrait.
“The Hopeful Tree” is one of many outdoor light exhibitions we have seen on public building this year. The Tate Britain’s impressive light installation takes over the front of the gallery with a display of lights by British artist Chila Kumari Burman to celebrate Diwali, the installation will finish at the end of January. The Southbank Centre’s “Winter Light” (20 Nov-28 Feb) exhibition covers the building and Riverside Walk, featuring seventeen commissions using light and colour including a multicoloured neon canopy weaving through the trees by designer David Ogle, and a mirrorball in the Hayward Gallery foyer by Fife-based artist Katie Paterson. In Richmond, Kew Gardens’ light festival (4 Dec-17 Jan) features a singing rose garden and festive favourite: the Cathedral of Light which captivatingly twinkles with thousands of fairy lights.