12 Dec 2017

We Made This

From bees to fishmas trees – we hear how Hull got crafty this Christmas

Organised by artist and community activist Miranda Van Rossum, We Made This was a craft project which challenged communities in Hull to create Christmas decorations, which were then hung on trees around Hull.  

Altogether 24 trees were covered in decorations, each with their own theme, taking inspiration from the tree’s location. The themes of the trees covered everything from A Rainbow Of Books Tree, covered entirely in books outside Middleton Hall to a Let Them Eat Cake Tree located off Park Avenue on Princes Avenue!

We had a brief chat with Miranda to find out where the idea came from.


How did the project We Made This all come about? 

I originally thought of the idea through the Yellow Day project. It was aimed to challenge people to create something yellow, or predominately yellow. The yellow objects varied from anything from paintings to sculptures to origami to knitting. l wanted to create something similar that people could get involved in again. 

I then thought of the idea to ask people to create their own Christmas tree decorations to hang on trees around the city. Altogether we decorated 30 trees!

Who decided to get involved with the project? 

All kinds of people have been involved – from primary schools and nurseries to community groups. I advertised the opportunity online via One Hull Of A City and had a great response from there. Once everyone was on board, everyone was placed in their own area groups and we started work on the pieces. 

The groups were then asked to develop a theme for their trees based on the area. Liz Dees from Carnival Arts has been involved too, hosting workshops for the project. 


We Made This © Jerome Whittingham

What kind of response did you get from the community? 

We had all sorts of responses. Everyone has had a great time. We had one gentleman who was disabled but wanted to paint – so he was given the opportunity to have a go and really enjoyed it. Our youngest volunteer was 14 months old and the oldest was 102! 


What was it like to see everyone work together? 

It’s been a very organic process really. Most of the communication came through social media and then we started off with a get together with people who had never met before. Everyone was really excited about it and it’s been important to lots of people.

We Made This © Jerome Whittingham


What variety of work did you end up with? 

Some trees are entirely made of crochet, some mosaic and some cross-stitch. They all have something different which makes them unique from each other. 

For example, the tree on Marlborough Avenue was completely covered in bees (including a mini Bee Lady!) because the avenue is home to a beekeeper. The tree situated outside The Welly on Beverley Road was decorated entirely in wellies and musical notes and The Stadium tree on Walton Street near the KCOM stadium featured silver football boots and pom poms too.

Another tree was The Fishmas Tree at The Halfway House Inn car park. It featured fish, trawlers and nets. This was quite an obvious choice for this area.

If you would like to buy one of the We Made This pieces, you can bob down to The Sugar & Spice Café on Lairgate, Beverley, The Salvation Army on Holderness Road, Artlink on Princes Avenue and Victoria House on Park Street, Hull. 


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