Thursday 19 October 2017

Trees set to form Olympic artwork

Image of how a tree on the Olympic site in east London will look once it is turned into a work of art
Image of how a tree on the Olympic site in east London will look once it is turned into a work of art

The 10 biggest trees in the Olympic Park are to be turned into works of art, the Olympic Delivery Authority has announced.

Engraved metal rings, six metres in diameter and up to half a tonne in weight, will be wrapped around the crown of the trees to act as a permanent reminder of the London 2012 Games.

The red oak, silver lime and common ash trees will stand up to 18 metres tall and mark out the entrances to the 500-acre Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.

There will be nine history rings with words giving information relevant to each location inscribed on the inside. The data has come from the Museum of London archaeological surveys, ecological studies and details of businesses that had previously inhabited the site.

The tree branches and ring will slowly fuse together over time. The memories of residents will be featured on the tenth tree - an English oak.

The shadow cast by this ring will be inlayed on to the ground in bronze so that each year it will momentarily align to commemorate the date and time of the London 2012 Games.

The ODA and Arts Council England-funded work is the brainchild of British contemporary artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey.

They said: "Trees mark the passing of time through their yearly ring growth. The artwork will transform as the seasons change, reflecting the evolving nature of the Olympic Park.

"The trees embrace metal rings which have been engraved with a record of the site's history, held in branches for successive decades to come."

Artist Lucy Harrison is working with the community to produce an audio soundtrack for each of the areas around the entrance markers.

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