Tate Britian Goes Old School With Off-The-Shelf Christmas Decorations

After 25 years of commissioning artists to design Christmas trees during the holiday season, Tate Britain thought they’d give an artist the facade of the building to play with. Alan Kane, whose work often incorporates found or readymade objects, has draped the building in Old School “off the shelf” decorations for 2017.

Home for Christmas at Tate Britain

Home for Christmas at Tate Britain

‘Home for Christmas’, a commission for Tate Britain by Alan Kane has transformed the historic building into a glowing display of multi-colored lights and displays concurrent with suburban homes. The brightly colored collection of LED Santas, reindeer, snowmen and Christmas trees, complete with “Santa stops here” signs eschews interpretive or abstracted artistic interpretations for good ol’ fashioned, unsophisticated, drugstore decorations.

This playful commission, which has been called “tacky” by some, aims to turn the historic gallery building into a tribute to extraordinary everyday creative expression.


Kane’s work often incorporates found or readymade objects, and brings attention to everyday forms of creativity. Within his various projects and collaborations, he draws attention to the dividing line between art as defined by academic convention and art as a more commonplace creative act. His inclusive, humorous work blurs the distinction between innovation and tradition, the amateur and professional, and perceptions of high art and low culture through the insertion of familiar and often comic objects into artistic contexts.

Home for Christmas: A Commission for Tate Britain by Alan Kane has been curated by Aïcha Mehrez, Assistant Curator of Contemporary British Art at Tate.

The display will be lit every day until 12th Night on 6 January.

images Photo © Tate, Joe Humphrys and info courtesy of Tate Britain and The Independent

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