Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hills Hoist + May Pole = Belinda Suzette

Recently I was commissioned to transform a rather large and clunky Hills Hoist plonked unceremoniously smack bang in the middle of the clients' backyard. They were having a party and short of ripping the aussie icon out, they didn't know what to do with it...I DID!! the theme of their event was 'Tree Of Life'. I have always wanted to create a Maypole and the symbolism of it and the Tree Of Life are intrinsically connected.
The idea i came up with was an ephemeral sculpture that celebrates the beautiful fractal, geometric, kaleidoscopic shapes and planes of the structure. Using ALOT of ribbon I wrapped the trunk and weaved a geometry of balance and colour. 

The onus was on colour, light, symmetry and joy.
The Maypole tradition is a part of the rejoicing at the return of summer, and the growth of new vegetation. It marks the end of the winter half of the year, early May in the northern hemisphere, early November in the southern. Since the event was held in early November, the timing was perfect. The symbolism of the Maypole is of the Germanic reverence for sacred trees, as there is evidence for various sacred trees and wooden pillars that were venerated by the pagans across much of Germanic Europe, including Thor's Oak and the Irminsul. It is also known that, in Norse paganism, which is the best attested form of Germanic paganism, cosmological views held that the universe was a world tree, known as Yggdrasil.

Originally a Germanic Pagan tradition of Iron Age and early Mediaeval cultures, the Maypole ritual survived Christianisation, albeit losing most of it's original meaning. It has been a recorded practice in many parts of Europe throughout the Mediaeval and Early Modern periods, although became less popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Today, the tradition is still observed in some parts of Europe and amongst European communities in North America, and now Down Under!


  1. gorgeous BJ ... knew it would be !

  2. Anonymous5:03 pm