MORE than 160 Christmas trees and a living advent calendar have gone on display at an acclaimed North-East arts hub.
The Ushaw Christmas Tree Festival – now in its second year – opened at Ushaw Historic House alongside a much-anticipated light installation by Sunderland artist Stuart Langley.
Custom Christmas trees, designed by professional artists, community groups, and local children, graced the interior of the venue, while Mr Langley’s work – titled Inside Out – turned the building’s façade into a four-storey illuminated advent calendar of neon and animation.
Curator Claire Marsland said: “We lost count of the number of trees at around 160. along with Stuart’s fantastic work, it’s just wonderful to see the place so alive and buzzing, and it feels so Christmassy.
“People have been so imaginative with their creations, and it’s been incredible to engage with so many talented artists, community groups, and children to bring Christmas to Ushaw.”
Stuart Langley said: “It has been a privilege to work in such an iconic building, and present a work of such large scale that’s a true reflection of the building’s contents.
“It’s also been amazing to work with local schools to create the installation, blending and integrating young people’s work into the piece. I hope the kids who took part see it and realise just how much their talent is valued.”
A key theme of this year’s festival on the outskirts of Durham was recycling, and many of the Christmas trees had a green message. One such tree was built by Broompark and District WI from reclaimed plastic bottles.
Chair Lesley Hagon said: “The WI is committed to an eco-approach. We’ve been campaigning to reduce plastic, so we made this tree to show just how much plastic there is out there.”
A Christmas Selling Exhibition is also now underway in Ushaw’s main gallery.
The displays marks the start of Christmas at Ushaw, and both the Christmas Trees and Inside Out will be on display until Saturday, December 21.