Fata Morgana, A Christmas Tree Extravaganza
Wembley Park has announced a new partnership with leading international design journal Disegno, to present two thought-provoking festive outdoor installations as part of its Christmas celebrations.
The public realm commissions, created by leading London design studios Committee and Silo, will be unveiled on Wednesday 21 November to coincide with the illumination of Wembley Park’s Christmas lights and the commencement of a programme of seasonal cultural activity, Xmasbox.
Taking inspiration from the development and evolution of the 85 acre neighbourhood in North West London, the commissions represent critically-engaged yet festive additions to the public realm. The two studios were commissioned by Disegno for their work’s capacity to balance delight and visual spectacle, with highly developed critique and analysis.
Silo Studio, a collaboration of Attua Aparicio Torinos and Oscar Lessing, present Fata Morgana, a visually stunning contemporary take on the traditional Christmas tree. Fata Morgana assumes the shape and dimension of an international standard shipping container (8ft x 20ft) – a nod to the unit of construction of Boxpark, which opens its latest and largest site at Wembley Park this December.
The visual effect of Fata Morgana is created by 160 tightly strung ribbons of banner material fixed to the steel box, each straight line a tangent to the parabolic outline of a simplified traditional Christmas tree. Together, the banners and box create the impression of five trees, each of which are represented by different shades of green.
“Instead of a single tree we have made a section of a forest, as a specimen kept inside a box,” say Aparicio Torinos and Lessing. “Using ribbons made from the material that advertising banners are produced from, we have woven and interconnected the trees to represent how the trees communicate.”
With backgrounds in engineering and design, the core of Silo’s work looks at industrial processes and materials, as well as a hands-on approach to discover the expressive potential in industrial materials. Previous commissions include the Wealdstone Youth Workshop with Spacemakers; Paradise This Way, for the Crafts Council and Hull City of Culture; and Floating Islands for Bloomberg’s Waste Not Want it.
Committee, a design studio and art practice founded by Clare Page and Harry Richardson, will take over the Spanish Steps that connect Wembley Stadium and Arena Square to present LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. The work is designed as a 3-D tromp l’oeil, only revealed to the viewer when faced straight on. Made of bold white Sans Serif font set on a brilliant golden background, the words appear to stand upright, casting a shadow behind them.
The commission takes ‘love’ as a starting point, it being the essence of seasonal celebrations, as well as the relationships that help to form a new neighbourhood, and the basis of all passions, be they religious, cultural or sporting. “The work forms an invitation, a hope, a command, a protest or an obstruction, depending on your interpretation. It can refer to every form of love, from religious faith to romantic infatuation, the familial to the civic,” say Page and Richardson.
Committee creates products, concepts, film and imagery for brands, galleries and institutions around the world, including the London Design Museum, Jerwood Gallery, the V&A, Liberty, and the British Council.
The Spanish Steps commission replaces Flight by Remi Rough, unveiled to mark the launch of Summer of Play, Wembley Park’s first curated programme of events.
Oli Stratford, editor of Disegno, says: “Silo and Committee are two of the most interesting design studios practising in London. To have the opportunity to watch them unpick the various cultural, critical, commercial and spiritual implications of the Christmas season is a very great honour indeed.