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John Booth’s Christmas Tree | Courtesy of The London EDITION
John Booth’s Christmas Tree | Courtesy of The London EDITION
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Arty Christmas Trees to See Around London

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 22 December 2017
Enjoy the festive season in London with these fun, beautiful and twinkling Christmas Trees designed by international artists.

Tracey Emin at The Connaught

In Connaught purple neon lights, Tracey Emin has decorated the hotel’s 30ft Norway spruce with a poem in her distinctive handwritten style. Exclusively written for the hotel by the acclaimed British artist, the poem is a love letter of sorts to the city. It reads: ‘What I give to you is all I have. An Open wanting. Deep in The Layers of my heart. And in Return I catch. Your smile. The Greatest Gift of All.’ Atop the tree is a glowing angel, an homage to Emin’s mother who passed away last year.

The Connaught Christmas Tree is at Carlos Place, Mayfair, London W1K 2AL until the end of 2017.

Christmas Tree 2017 by Tracey Emin CBE
Christmas Tree 2017 by Tracey Emin CBE | Courtesy The Connaught
Detail of Christmas Tree 2017 by Tracey Emin CBE
Detail of Christmas Tree 2017 by Tracey Emin CBE | Courtesy The Connaught

ES Devlin at the V&A

Inspired by the story of Martin Luther decorating his Christmas Tree with candles after seeing the stars sparkle through tree branches while on a forest walk and the tradition of carolling, set designer Es Devlin has created a kinetic Christmas tree in the V&A’s Cromwell Road entrance that both illuminates and sings. Wanting to create an accumulative carol, Devlin invites visitors to the museum to contribute a word that will be converted via an algorithm into an audio-visual carol. Projected onto 1,000 Birch planks will be each word that will then be transformed into song through synthesised voices.

The Singing Tree is at V&A, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL until January 6, 2018.

The Signing Tree at the V&A by Es Devlin
The Signing Tree at the V&A by Es Devlin | © Victoria and Albert Museum

John Booth at London Edition

The London-based illustrator and ceramicist John Booth has given the London Edition Christmas Tree his distinct painterly flare with his choice of saturated palette and combination of materials including fabric, ceramic and plaster. The most eye-catching element are his exquisite ceramic-designed tree decorations, which you can also buy through the partnership with not-for-profit House of Voltaire. In keeping with the spirit of giving at Christmas, all proceeds from the sale of a set of four (£85) will be donated to The Albert Kennedy Trust, a charity that supports LGBTQ+ youth affected by homelessness.

The Christmas Tree for The London EDITION, 10 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NP will be on display until the New Year.

John Booth’s Christmas Tree
John Booth’s Christmas Tree | Courtesy of The London EDITION
Detail of John Booth’s Christmas Tree
Detail of John Booth’s Christmas Tree | Courtesy of The London EDITION

Papershake at Nobu Hotel

For the elite hotel’s first Christmas Tree they commissioned Origami Artist Papershake, aka Michael Trew. Made from luxury shoji paper at the artist’s nearby Hackney Wick studio, the innovative tree combines ancient Japanese art with modern design techniques and blends perfectly with the hotel’s use of natural materials. The three-metre-tall tree, which is also illuminated from the inside, forms the hotel’s festive centre piece in it’s lobby.

Origami Christmas Tree by Papershake will be on display at Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, 10-50 Willow Street, London, EC2A 4BH until the New Year.

Origami Christmas Tree by Papershake
Origami Christmas Tree by Papershake | Nobu Hotel Shoreditch

Sebastian Ziegler at Ace Hotel

Icelandic photographer and film-maker, Sebastian Ziegler turns the hotel lobby-decorated Christmas Tree on its head with his video of a Norwegian spruce at Ace Hotel, London. Evergreen tells the story of a tree during Norway’s first snowfall and is transformed into an immersive experience with the inclusion of real spruce branches and the scent of pine, fern and crab apple crafted by Haeckels.

Evergreen is at Ace Hotel London, 100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ until December 30, 2017.

Evergreen by Sebastian Ziegler
Evergreen by Sebastian Ziegler | Courtesy Ace Hotel

Special mention to Alan Kane at Tate Britain

Although it’s not technically a tree, we couldn’t compile a festive round-up and ignore the immense Christmas decorations installed on the exterior of Tate Britain by British artist Alan Kane. The menagerie of glowing neon decorations that include candy cane, Christmas Pudding, baubles, stars, fairies and Snowmen brings the worlds of high art as ordained by academic convention and the everyday act of amateur creativity together in a wonderfully playful creation.

Home for Christmas is at Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG until January 6, 2018.

Home for Christmas: A Commission for Tate Britain by Alan Kane
Home for Christmas: A Commission for Tate Britain by Alan Kane | Photo: © Tate, Joe Humphrys

You might also like our ultimate guide to the perfect gift for art lovers.