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Deck the halls with festive follies!

22 December 2017

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

’Tis the season to be jolly – or at least, the London museum world certainly thinks so. Earlier this month, Tate Britain unveiled a dazzling new set of Christmas decorations courtesy of the artist Alan Kane. Featuring all manner of seasonal illuminations slung across its normally sober facade, the commission is, according to the museum’s website, intended to ‘turn the historic gallery building into a tribute to extraordinary everyday creative expression’. Which is all very well, provided visitors don’t mistake Rachel Whiteread’s adjacent Chicken Shed for Santa’s Grotto.

Over at the V&A, set designer Es Devlin has created an installation entitled Singing Tree in the museum’s grand entrance. Said piece of festive foliage has been specially created for the museum, and will be on display until 6 January. Members of the public are invited to submit a festive word that will be folded into the ‘audio-visual carol’ illuminatinating the tree – in ‘an interactive choir of human and synthesised voices.’

The Royal Academy, meanwhile, asked Nick Grimshaw to make a Christmas tree from found materials in its Academicians’ Room. The Grimshaw in question turns out not to be the architect and former president of the RA, Sir Nicholas, but the excitable Radio 1 DJ known to his fans as ‘Grimmy’. Has the RA got its address book in a muddle?

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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