From a distance, the tree at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair looks like a traditional Christmas tree. But look closely at this image of the tree, with Farm Street Church in the background. Nobody dresses a tree with scissors. So what’s this all about?
The decorations have been designed by British artist Damien Hirst, who said:
“The Christmas tree is a symbol of togetherness, a joyful symbol of hope and love. For the decorations, I wanted to reference some of the amazing things that give us hope in the world today.”
So the scissors turn out to be medical instruments, and the other decorations are medicines.
This tree has two messages of hope – the power of science and medicine, and the traditional Christian message of God’s love at Christmas. I’ve no idea if the artist has faith in both, or if he is suggesting that we place our hope in science instead of religion. I was just happy to receive a dose of both positive messages.
This medicine bottle quotes from a Christian hymn of celebration traditionally sung at Christmas: “Ding, dong, merrily on high, in heaven the bells are ringing”.
The pill bottle gives detailed instructions from another hymn: “O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, o come ye, o come ye, to Bethlehem. Come and behold him, born the king of angels. O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.”
The tree is right outside the Connaught Hotel – here is their website.