Monday, 12 December 2011

Artists Christmas Tree 2011

Steffan Jones-Hughes & Jeanette Orrell

Every Christmas, Oriel Myrddin Gallery invite an artist to make, design or decorate a Christmas tree for the gallery. This year North Wales artists, Steffan Jones-Hughes and Jeanette Orrell were chosen. Steffan and Jeanette are partners in their home life, but this is the first time they have worked together on a artistic project.

The commission is made from their last years tree which they saved back and then painstakingly covered with pages from old paperback books, the branches have then been decorated with little bottles that have been given new hand drawn labels. The bottles were inspired by a hoard of Victorian bottles that were dug up in the artists' garden, but these particular ones have been collected from antiques shops flea markets especially for the project. The bottles make reference to the idea of glass baubles and the little characters on the labels suggest stories and narratives which are echoed in the book pages covering the branches.

Steffan and Jeanette came to talk to us about making the tree and their life deep in the countryside of Denbighshire. They mused that they would have liked to have a little light in each bottle; as a child Steffan remembers seeing a tree that was lit up by fireflies and their Christmas tree also reflects this enchanting memory.

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