Illustration Animation students create The Knitted Tree at the Old Vic


This Christmas, The Old Vic Theatre is “speaking for the trees” as they put on their first ever production of the Lorax on stage.  In line with the environmental themes of Dr Seuss’s The Lorax, the Old Vic invited a team of BA Illustration Animation students from Kingston University to design an ‘alternative’ Christmas tree.  In the words of the designers, The Knitted Tree illustrates the morality of deforestation, reflects that which we take for granted, and represents the space which is left behind when a tree is chopped down – thereby reflecting the morals of The Lorax himself.

Kate Varah, CEO of the Old Vic is very thankful for the incredible work that Kingston students did on their ‘alternative Christmas tree’ brief. She says, ‘it was inspired as an idea and all of those designs that came back to us could have been used. As it was, the ‘tree’ eventually selected is now in pride of place in our foyer and looks spectacular. We couldn’t be more thrilled with both the way that this came about, and the design itself.’

Over 100 students put forward 26 proposals, and 3 ideas were shortlisted. The winning design students were Laura Brown, Martha Halliday and Denisa Costing, all level 5 students. The staff who organised this were Mark Harris, Rebecca Davies and Nat Wyle.

The Knitted Tree consists of over 250 strands of wool suspended to create a negative shape of a tree. It took three weeks to make, many late nights, lots of helpers from Illustration Animation and Foundation students and lots of problem solving.

It will be seen by over 30,000 people who will see the Lorax this Xmas.

Find out more about BA Illustration Animation at Kingston University.