Musical Winter Tree Sets A Magical Tone At Standen

Musical Winter Tree Sets A Magical Tone At Standen

This year, artists Mark Nixon and Viliina Koivisto are turning the Winter Tree at Standen House and Garden into a spectacular musical instrument bringing fun and sparkle to the house courtyard this Christmas.

Since 2015 the annual 20-foot contemporary art installation at Standen, the National Trust’s Arts and Crafts house and garden in West Sussex, has showcased the work of artist’s whose work embodies the ethos of the Arts and Crafts Movement today.

The tree itself will be decorated with 5,000 golden wind-chimes, which will harness nature to create a magical noise across the garden. This sensory engagement is what is unique for this year’s incarnation of the Winter Tree. Designer Mark Nixon explains, “Our goal is to design projects that are not just beautiful and intriguing, but which also facilitate engaging, sensory and emotional experiences. When people see the Winter Tree, we want them to feel a sense of joy and wonder at this remarkable structure that has been built in the courtyard at Standen. People will be invited to come up to the tree, to touch it and play it, so there’ll be this real interaction between nature and the visitors to the house.”

Richard Grudzinski, Visitor Experience Manager, explains, “For the fifth year of the Winter Tree project we wanted an art installation which would provide an assault on the senses whilst showcasing the very best of art and design today. The way in which NEON combine art, architecture and design with their passion for creating places, spaces and objects that enliven every day experiences makes them the perfect choice for this year’s festive contemporary art installation at Standen.”

Drawing inspiration from William Morris’s designs, this contemporary artwork structure, will sit proudly in the courtyard of this National Trust Arts & Crafts house. Mark tells us more, “Much like many of the Morris & Co. wallpapers that adorn the walls of Standen house, this tree represents a celebration of nature, and the repetition of the chimes is inspired by these iconic designs. Taking inspiration from Arts & Craft furniture, the wind chime hanging module is designed to be clean and functional, expressing the way it works by making all nuts and bolts visible.

“The tree will be crowned by William Morris himself who will assume the role of a wind responsive conductor. His representation will gently move when the wind blows, giving the impression that he is magically manipulating the chimes.”

Visitors can view this spectacle from Saturday 23rd November 2019 until Sunday 5th January 2020, from 10am-4pm.

Visitors can also enjoy an after hours view of this artwork spectacle with golden chimes reflecting in the night-time lighting during twilight evenings on specific dates in December when the property is open until 6:30pm.

As part of Standen’s Christmas celebrations, visitors can also step into a 1930s Christmas in the house with trees traditionally decorated for the festivities.

Our Christmas shop has lots of goodies to browse, including Arts & Crafts inspired gifts and edible products, plus the Barn Café will be open, so visitors can partake in a sweet treat and warm drink before heading home too.

For further information and opening times visit