Brighton Fringe, in collaboration with the Finnish Institute in London, celebrated the start of the Festive season with the unveiling of ‘Treecycle’. The 16ft tall Christmas Tree was decorated by Ilona Valkonen, a member of the Finnish ‘anarchist florist’ art group Vieno Motors and has been installed in the North grounds of St Peter’s Church for 6 weeks.
Ilona has created the installation combining organic and man-made media, drawing attention to the value of discarded materials, such as electrical wires and bicycle tyres, by re-purposing them as Christmas decorations alongside live, flowering bulbs. The delicacy of the flowers combined with the rawness of the recycled material helps the viewer find aesthetic value in material usually thrown away.
The installation was unveiled at 10.30am on the 17th of November by Julian Caddy, Managing Director of Brighton Fringe, Sara Forsius from the Finnish Institute in London and Ilona.
The installation of ‘Treecycle’ has been a collaborative effort between Brighton Fringe, The Finnish Institute in London, and a number of Brighton-based organisations; St Peter’s Church, Brighton & Hove Council, Brighton Metropolitan College, Phoenix Brighton and The Finnish School of Brighton.
A festive celebration marking the centenary of Finnish independence will be held around the decorated tree at 4.30pm on the 6th of December. There will be a group singing Christmas carols at the event, Finnish cakes and non-alcoholic Glöggi to keep everyone warm, and an appearance from Santa, all the way from Lapland in Finland. The Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Mo Marsh, will also be attending and making a speech.
The unveiling of ‘Treecycle’ marks the start of a collaboration between Brighton Fringe and The Finnish Institute in London, which will include a Finnish season at Brighton Fringe 2018.
Pauliina Ståhlberg, Director of The Finnish Institute in London said,”this Christmas tree project has been a wonderful start to our collaboration with Brighton Fringe. We are looking forward to presenting a varied Finnish Showcase at the festival in the spring!”
Julian Caddy, Managing Director of Brighton Fringe said, “Finland, just like Brighton Fringe, has a reputation for doing things from a refreshingly different perspective, there is more to things than meets the eye. This tree, whilst inspiring festive joy, also has an important message too and we would like to thank Ilona Valkonen, the Finnish Institute and all our other partners for this project for their time to put this all together. This project heralds the start of our partnership with Finland for 2018 and we just can’t wait.”