Wreaths have long been associated with Christmas in English-speaking countries. They are traditionally made of Evergreens and are a sign of strength as this tree is strong enough to withstand the harshness of winter.
The wreaths on show at the Arsenal Building's exhibition this year, like other years before, offer interesting interpretations of the wreath itself and what this symbol can mean at Christmas-time in this modern age. The artists behind the wreaths come from many walks of life and bring unique points of view to the project.
Some of the wreaths are still what you'd call pretty, while others skew the typical idea of the word and find a beauty in materials that we usually wouldn't consider attractive. They offer a whole different idea of what the Christmas spirit really means.
Recycling the discarded: An Interpretation of chaos by Alexis Walsh
Take the wreath made out of take-away Chinese boxes pictured below as a good example. This can mean a number of things depending on how we look at it. It could stand for the growing consumerism of Christmas-time, the globalisation of our world, multi-culturalism, the fact that many Asian take-aways are still open even on Christmas day in the city, the artist's love of Asian food and/or many more things I'm sure. It all depends on how you look at it.
Then there's a very different take with the use of Christmas Album covers from the generation of the Baby Boomers. What a different view on Christmas this casts to the one above. It's more about nostalgia and looking back than thinking about the world today. Or maybe it's a bit of a longing look back at a world that's gone by with a sense of sadness about the world today?
When you stand in front of 'Seven Days of Puddles', you see yourself reflected in the mirror at the centre so it's hard not to use the Christmas season and the melancholy of the rain to take a look at yourself and where you are in life.
There's something that vaguely creeps me out about the bike wheel and artificial bird wreath. It reminds me a bit of Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven'. There's almost the implication that the bike has run the birds over, and I find the black and red colours a bit morbid.
There are more wreaths on show in the Arsenal Building. Those that I've included images of are only an indication. The exhibition isn't that large though. It's confined to a single room and I'd say don't plan to spend an entire morning or afternoon there because it won't take you that long to walk through. If you're looking for something to do on a wander through Central Park though it's worth checking out.