Somerset House Tree Installation

The United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development is the subject of ES Devlin's breathtaking installation. Peter Gray reports.

-London's Best Events-

Ok, before you say: “crikey, what’s become of London?”, we should probably inform you that the above is NOT a picture of a city run to ruin but instead an image from the Somerset House Tree Installation.

The artwork, which is officially titled Forest for Change, will see some 400 trees spring up at the iconic London venue later this summer.

Referencing various inspirational and transformative forests from literature and featuring 23 varieties of tree commonly found across the UK and Northern Europe, the work explores the themes of change and renewal.

The installation is the brainchild of the artist ES Delvin, who has worked with landscape designer Philip Jaffa, and urban greening specialists Scotscape on the piece. Forest of Change is intended to highlight the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development with the central area of the exhibit making the link explicit.

The goals describe a series of global challenges which humans must urgently tackle to ensure the future of the planet and our species. Included in their number are issues like climate change, poverty, inequality, health, and justice. The goals are not just central to Devlin’s exhibit but also to the wider London Design Biennale of which the Forest of Change forms part.

Designed to “entertain, inform and spark action”, the Biennale is the result of a call to the global design community for radical thinking to address some of the most serious issues of our time.

Forest of Change is one of 500 projects from 50 countries to have answered that call.

The work can be viewed from the 1st to the 27th of July 2021 at Somerset House.

News of the forest follows hot on the heels of the announcement of the Marble Arch Hill. Set to grace Oxford Street later this year, the hill is the centrepiece of a £150 million pound bid to regeneration the famous street. When finished, the attraction will have a series of viewing platforms and a massive hall for live events.

If it sounds like a theme is emerging in all of these projects, then it is certainly a welcome one. London is looking towards a greener, cleaner future and for that we should all be thankful.

More information about Forest of Change at Somerset House can be found here.

For information about other exhibitions in London, please click here.

-London's Best Events-
What: exhibition
When: 1-27 July 2021
Where: Somerset House
Website: Forest of Change