Tate Britain Exhibition

Make Your Own Xmas Free entry

Bob and Roberta Smith in collaboration with Electric Pedals Make Your Own Xmas a Christmas tree made from recycled materials with bikes to generate energy to light the tree

Bob and Roberta Smith, Make Your Own Xmas

© Tate

Tate Britain is inviting the public to come and take part in its first ever fully interactive Christmas tree, Make Your Own Xmas, created by Bob and Roberta Smith in collaboration with Electric Pedals.

The artist Bob and Roberta Smith and Electric Pedals hope you are dreaming of a Green Christmas.

Make Your Own Xmas requires the help of gallery visitors to bring the work to life, as they will provide the power to illuminate the tree.

The tree itself is a wooden structure made of recycled materials, including sandwich boards and an oil drum. Eight bicycles of various sizes have been fixed to stands around the trunk, each holding a generator to convert the pedal power into electricity for the light bulbs that decorate the tree.

Make Your Own Xmas is a thought-provoking response to the season of contemplation, celebration and consumerism. Its overt humour and ramshackle aesthetic evokes memories of hand-made Christmas decorations as well as highlighting global concerns over energy production and waste.

Bob and Roberta Smith was born in London in 1963. Smith works in a variety of media, including installations, painting and sculpture. A subversive sense of humour can often be found in his work, which frequently uses everyday and reclaimed materials.

The artist worked on this commission with Electric Pedals, an organisation set up by Tim Siddall in May 2007. It provides lighting, music and other interactions powered by bicycles and recycled generators.

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
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5 December 2008 – 4 January 2009

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