Oh Christmas tree

My thanks to Marian McNeir for this seasonal story!

“Every year the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery ( FOVAG ) invite a local artist to decorate a Christmas Tree for the entrance to the Gallery .

“The artist has free rein and as you can imagine, every year  we have a tree which is very creative and unique “ says Marian McNeir, one of the Trustees of FOVAG.

Marian adds that a combination of the Bath Owl Project – and probably just watching too many Harry Potter films – gave her a vision of owls gliding through the dark branches of the tree.

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By a stroke of good luck , Marian met Yoko Parry Williams and the “ Paper Tree “ was born! Yoko is an origami artist and has created 240 Tsuru or Cranes involving the traditional methods of origami or folding paper to decorate this year’s Tree.

As Yoko explains : “ Long ago in Japan, there was a courteous tradition of folding paper in a beautiful way around a gift. This evolved into “ Origami “ which is an established feature of Japanese culture, conveying fun and beauty in the art of creating objects with a single piece of paper . “

So Marian’s Owls have become Yoko’s Tsuru or Cranes but the effect is just as stunningly beautiful. Yoko has created a flock of enchanting white, gold and silver Tsuru – a mystical bird with much auspicious symbolism , bringing good fortune , peace and happiness  — the perfect attributes for Christmas.

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Yoko was born in 1976 in Yamanashi in Japan, growing up in the sight of Mount Fuji. She met her husband Tim while he was studying weaving in Japan and they married in 2012. Although very busy with their two little daughters, she still finds time to assist Tim in his hand weaving studio. Tim is Reader in Textile Culture at Bath Spa University and a well known local weaver.

Come and see Yoko’s beautiful Christmas Tree at the VAG which will be on display until 6th January .

 Anyone interested in becoming a member of FOVAG and joining in their exciting Programme of Events in 2019 , can get an application form from the Gallery.”