Tate Britain’s Christmas tree has become a staple of the art calendar for many years (see here for the photographic archive). The trees have ranged from the traditional, to the invisible and the unorthodox and now we have the natural.
This year’s tree is an unadorned spruce with an intriguing bull whip wrapped around its base along with several silver flyers. It looks like almost no effort has gone into the creation – precisely the intention says Giorgio Sadotti, the artist:
"If someone says, 'Your work's a bit easy,' then for me that's the perfect compliment. I want something to look like it was no effort because I lose interest if something looks like it was a lot of work."The tree/art work is entitled Flower Ssnake and the silver flyers at the tree's base are invites to a live action performance on twelfth night, when the tree will be "completed” with the assistance of a woman described by Sadotti as "Fanny from Marseilles".
A quick glance through the Tate’s previous Christmas trees leads one to ponder the definition of art and whether it is more a part of out daily lives than is, perhaps, appreciated. Indeed, as part of the 2010 seasonal festivities many people will have a work of art (natural or artificial, green or otherwise) in the corner of the room; whether it is treated as a work of art is another question.