©Tate (Joe Humphrys)

It is the first tree to decorate the Tate since its renovation.

Jess McHugh
December 02, 2016

The Tate Modern museum in London revealed one of its 2016 holiday installations Thursday in the form of an upside-down Christmas tree that stretches through three floors of the central staircase.

The tree, created by Iranian-born sculptor Shirazeh Houshiary, dangles from the ceiling with roots covered in gold leaf. Houshiary, who often works with metals in her sculpture, made a similar installation for the Tate more than two decades ago, and she says the symbolism of pine trees is enduring.

“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,” she said in a statement.

Shirazeh Houshiary, Christmas Tree, Tate Britain, 2016
©Tate (Joe Humphrys)

Visitors to the Tate can see the tree from different vantage points on each level to get the full intended experience of Houshiary's work in the newly renovated rotunda.The installation welcomes visitors to a series of new exhibits from artists such as Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Alison Wilding.

“This unveiling marks a pivotal moment for the festive season at Tate Britain by looking to the past in order to look to the future,” Alex Farquharson, the director Tate Britain, said in a statement. “This tree fits the new space perfectly, allowing a different generation to experience the majesty of Houshiary’s work in the striking setting of the new entrance and staircase.”

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