Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Trees

When a child I was brought up on organic Christmas Trees- sometimes Spruces and sometimes just a Crab Apple branch with the apples still on it. Always they were lit with magic real candles, fitted into little tin holders that seldom stayed vertical on the branches- now they would be considered an impossible fire hazard, which I’m sure they were. Decorations were often home-made- by me and my brother- out of plasticene or wax plus a number of Woolworth’s beautiful pre-second-world-war glass balls and elegant, art-deco birds.

However, having already shown the Ficus trees being used for Christmas decorations, I am choosing a very urban tree as an example of a Santa Monica Christmas Tree.

This is to be found in the Edgemar complex off Main Street, a very user-friendly mini-mall designed by Frank Gehry in the 1980’s. To complement the deconstructive architecture, for the last 11 years the Lighting Designer Anthony Schmitt has built his tree out of Shopping Carts. He wanted to reflect the aluminum trees of the 60’s and to represent both the homeless people of Santa Monica (the Cart being their symbol) and the consumers.

This year the tree is constructed out of 83 carts and is 33’ high. It blends into its surroundings very well and has its own kind of magic.

See "Edgemar Christmas Tree" below:
Frank Gehry

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