The Connaught, London’s legendary Mayfair hotel, announces that The Connaught Christmas Tree 2016 has been designed by widely acclaimed British sculptor Antony Gormley.

The magnificent Western Red Cedar tree commonly used for totem poles by the peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast of America has been sourced from Shropshire and stands 17.5m tall on Carlos Place. Its trunk has been transformed into a tapering column of brilliant light across which its branches and foliage weave a constantly changing dance.

Commenting on the tree Gormley said “It was a joy to collaborate with Zumtobel and their brilliant team of lighting innovators on this project. I thought that rather than decorating the outside of the Christmas tree it would be fun to light its core; the trunk, transforming it into a radiant centre against which the branches would become illuminated and silhouetted. I want the tree to celebrate life and all its myriad forms. At this, the darkest time of the year and at a moment of global dysfunction, I hope this magnificent tree conveys a feeling of continuance and vitality.”

Paddy McKillen, co-owner of The Connaught said “We are honoured that our friend Antony agreed to share his artistic vision with us at The Connaught this year to celebrate Christmas. I hope his tree will be enjoyed by our guests, our Mayfair neighbours and the whole of London.”

Mayfair has long-since established itself as the epicentre of the contemporary art scene in London, playing host to some of the most prestigious international galleries, and therefore it is particularly fitting that The Connaught should have invited one of Britain’s most significant living artists to create their Christmas tree this year, in the heart of this historical neighbourhood.

Art also plays a key role at The Connaught, with the hotel having amassed a considerable collection over its 168-year history, from Sir Peter Lely and William Wyld to Julian Opie, and of course, Damien Hirst who designed last year’s Connaught Christmas Tree.