Lower Marsh Plaza, Waterloo SE1 7AY
December 5th 2019 – January 5th 2020
SustainabiliTree was designed and built by SE London artist Angela McMahon to provide an alternative Christmas tree that supports the drive for sustainability in the We Are Waterloo Business Improvement District. It offers a visceral experience of something we might normally just throw away and an opportunity to reflect. The simplicity of the ethereal green glow provides a calm haven from our contemporary ideas of Christmas, a visually succinct alternative for a celebration originally designed to bring colour and light to the dark, cold winter months. It stands as a beacon for our times as we consider the future and our environmental impact on planet earth.
Angela McMahon has always worked with discarded materials to create beautiful and thought-provoking sculptures, installations and drawings that cast a spotlight on the environmental footprints and dilemmas of the Anthropocene consumer society. The plastic poster tubes used to create SustainabiliTree were rescued from the recycling after a corporate marketing mail out was cancelled. The structure was inspired by the hexagonal patterns in nature, the organic carbon ring molecules from which the plastic is made and the substance itself. Plastic is a polymer which comes from the Greek ‘poly’ which means many and ‘mer’ which means unit. The hexagonal shape of the carbon ring is found elsewhere in nature and is here extrapolated from micro to macro to form the robust and elegant hexagonal packing used to make the SustainabiliTree sculpture.
Thanks to my fabulous team Stuart Leeser, Carl Ramm, David White.
Mini-tree model pack instructions