I reckon we are near enough to Christmas now for me to start the sparkly seasonal blog posts!
'Long Live the Christmas Tree!' is the title of the Christmas exhibition at Harewood House. Our stately homes often dress elaborately for Christmas. (It brings in revenue). This year, Harewood has moved away from the traditional into something much more adventurous, with eleven artists being commissioned to create their own version of the classic pine or spruce tree. It was wonderfully different but also joyful and colourful.
There were traditional trees, notably in the Gallery (above), but these were part of an installation by Leeds-based Opera North with composer Martin Green, who reworked the song 'O Tannebaum' into a surround-sound musical experience. (Thanks to my friend for the photo above. For some reason mine turned into a one second video! Not what I intended but it's too easy to nudge something on my phone!)
In the Music Room, we found 'Aurora' (above) by Yasemen Hussein. Beautifully constructed of copper hung with shimmering crystals, it references ancient beliefs about the sun god and how winter comes when the sun god is sick and weak. The winter solstice marks the turning point where the sun god starts to revive. Evergreen boughs hung above the door were believed to protect a house against evil spirits and misfortune.