See a different side of the much-loved Christmas tree courtesy of Harewood House’s collaboration with acclaimed artists and craftspeople…
While Harewood House is always gorgeously festooned with lights at this time of year, it’s not the kind of place to do Christmas by numbers. This year is no different. Kicking off on Saturday 12th November 2022, Long Live the Christmas Tree! will change the way you see and think about the tree, as they’ve worked with celebrated makers and artists to explore what the Christmas tree means. And that’s just one aspect of what they’ve lined up for Santa season!
It’s the Christmas tree, but not as you know it
Long Live the Christmas Tree! will take you on a trail through 11 rooms of Harewood House, with a different installation by a different artist in each one. These aren’t traditional trees decorated with baubles – no, they’re sprucing up the spruce in an entirely different way. Yasemen Hussein, for example, who has created wearable stage gear for Katy Perry and other stars, is sculpting her branches using copper with dramatic sparkling crystals.
Opera North are collaborating with Ivor Novello-winning musician and composer Martin Green on a sound installation that, combined with real Christmas trees, brings the outside inside in a way that is intended to provoke and make you reflect. Hughbon Condor, meanwhile, will combine Christmas and Carnival – the designer has been part of Leeds West Indian Carnival for decades and this will be a huge carnival costume exploring winter traditions across different cultures.
There are more tree-mendous installations in store
While these ‘trees’ are far from the norm, they’ll still evoke the spirit and warmth of the season, while simultaneously challenging what people normally think of a classic Christmas tree. The diversity of the artists means that no two rooms will be the same, with Simon Costin creating a tree made from materials gathered from the grounds of Harewood House, and the wondrous wild wreath of Sheffield-based Swallows and Damsons.
Artists working in different mediums will help illuminate the festive themes, with plasterwork, found objects, a ‘bee tree’, intricate paper sculpture and even furniture taking the Yuletide tree to a new level. The State Floor will be a Christmas wonderland, but one that challenges expectations and may even provide inspiration for you taking a different approach to your own festive decorations at home.
It’s just part of the distinctly different Harewood experience
The whole of Harewood House and its grounds are a winter wonderland this year. The trees will be dressed in lights, there’ll be late evening opening every Friday and Saturday from Friday 25th November 2022 and even their famous afternoon tea gets a festive makeover. The Courtyard Shop will be packed with seasonal gifts and stocking fillers, and there’ll be a pop-up Christmas shop in Below Stairs.
You’ll also be able to feast on festive food galore, with much of it from their own estate. The Harewood Pie Shop will be returning, with premium pies and peas made using Walled Garden and estate produce. Warming fire pits will be lit so you can toast giant marshmallows (which you can buy from Bothy Teahouse) and the Courtyard Cafe will be dishing up hearty dishes to warm you up for a lakeside walk. It doesn’t get more Christmassy than this!
Long Live the Christmas Tree! is at Harewood House from Saturday 12th November 2022 to Monday 2nd January 2023. Day Tickets and Workshop Tickets must be bought separately.