Tree of Light project to inspire art and creativity in South-East as part of Olympic Games

By Culture24 Reporter | 18 October 2011
A photo of a pair of hands holding a stone
Tree-inspired creativity is on the agenda for Thames Valley nature fans
Thousands of people from across the Thames Valley region will devise a set of public performances informed by top scientists and inspired by trees in a burst of exploration and creativity backed by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Tree of Light will see insect biokineticists, arboriculturalists and other environmental experts teach children and communities all about trees and the important role they play in the global ecosystem, aiming to provoke creative responses to their wisdom.

Parks including Windsor Great Park, South Parks in Oxford and Stonor Park in Oxfordshire will then host a variety of public arts performances based on the sessions.

"Using trees as an anchor, we're able to combine science with creativity to bring everyone together in celebration," says Stewart Collins, the Artistic Director for the campaign and the Henley Festival.

"This project is built on a scale unlike anything most of us will take part in again and hopefully thousands more will see the final performances."

Scientists will explore trees under attack, the tree life cycle, trees as food and trees as a climate regulator in Henley and Oxford.

Groups in the Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead areas will take part in Tree Inspiration days, and film, theatre and literature specialists will work with participants in Henlessy, Oxford, Windsor and Maidenhead and Reading.

The project has been backed by a £750,000 award from the Legacy Trust UK and a £200,000 Arts Council England Grants for the arts award. The first workshops will take place this month (October 2011), and the performances are planned to coincide with the Games during summer 2012.
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