Tate Britain turns Christmas on its head with upside down tree

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Tate Britain turns Christmas on its head with upside down tree

Tate Britain unveils its spectacular upside down tree (Picture: AP /Matt Dunham)

Tate Britain has unveiled its new Christmas tree – but you’ll have to look to the skies to check it out.

The stunning pine tree – which was unveiled today – has been created by artist Shirazeh Houshiary and features exposed roots covered in gold leaf, and hangs upside down above the spiral staircase in the Rotunda.

She said: ‘I would like us to contemplate that the pine tree is one of the oldest species and recognise the roots are the source of its continued stability, nourishment and longevity.’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock (7532289r) Tate Britain Christmas tree in the Rotunda by Shirazeh Houshiary Tate Britain Christmas tree, London, UK - 01 Dec 2016 The installation marks the beginning of a series of festive events at Tate Britain over the weekend of the 2 and 3 December.

The impressive tree hangs in the Rotunda (Picture: Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock)

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The former Turner Prize nominee’s creation will be centrepiece for a series of festive commissions, which will include works by Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor.

The gallery has a month-long Christmas events calender – including tours of the JMW Turner paintings by torchlight and an evening of Christmas music with the English National Opera.

Shirazeh Houshiary created a similar installation for the Tate back in 1993 (Picture: PA)

Shirazeh Houshiary created a similar installation for the Tate back in 1993 (Picture: PA)

It’s not the first time the Tate has commissioned the Iranian artist for her unusual take on the Christmas Tree.

Back in 1993, Houshiary decided to move away from the traditional notion of decorating and chose to focus on the tree’s natural qualities instead – such as the texture, colour, smell and shape.

She achieved this by turning the tree upside down – exposing its roots –  and hanging it from the ceiling of the Gallery, thus creating the impression of the tree floating in air with the roots free from their earthly constraints.