The Tree of Light

Root Group

2012 Cultural Olympiad Event

MONA LISA Arts & Media have been selected to be one of the 40 Root Groups for this exciting large scale community event. We are now part of a project involving some 1500 participants, performers, artists, scientists and collaborators! All of us involved in the project through Thames Arts are looking forward to a year of wonderful creativity, learning, challenge, enjoyment and celebration with you.

What next...

Between 2011 and 2012 arts and science partners are expected to work with the Root Groups to draw out responses to the project’s artistic themes. Participants’ ideas and aspirations will then be expressed creatively as the Root Groups’ work with the Tree of Light team towards the final performances expected in involve music, song, dance, movement, theatre and visual arts.


Root Groups will explore themes directly related to trees (through the skills and knowledge available from environmental scientists, tree specialists and creatives) to develop their own ‘tree stories’. The artworks and performances produced will reflect what they want to say about trees in their own neighbourhoods as well as trees with which they feel an affinity in other parts of the world.

Then, after the creative development stages are complete and the works finished and refined, the performances in some of the south east’s most remarkable landmark settings, will converge around the massive Tree Of Light that uses LED lighting (light-emitting diodes - LEDs as the source of light) powered by adapted bicycles and rowing apparatus.


To create, develop, prepare and perform The Tree Of Light the project is divided into an introduction period followed by three phases of development delivered through a scheme of workshop, learning and training sessions.

Introductions, co-ordination and planning

(May - July 2011)
Individual group journey planning
Hub and group leaders induction and introductions
Tree inspiration seminar in Oxford

Discovery - Creating Tree Stories | Phase 1

(September – December 2011)
Knowledge, devising and learning workshops
Artist/Artisan creative development workshops
Show and tell sharings

Rehearsing and Performing - Working with the performing arts | Phases 2 and 3

(January – July 2012)
Show and tell sharings
Learning set pieces (music, dance, song, theatre…)
Further rehearsals (group and technical)
Local Hub performance, finale performance, London performance (tbc)

Tree of Light rehearsals get underway - we met with choreographer Helen Parlor last Thursday evening to begin the work for our Tree Stories based on Forest Fires. Our Root Group, made up of young people from Transformers, Girls Brigade and St Peter's C of E School, came together to practice moves and interpret their ideas of what Forest Fires are about. The first session went really well over 2.5 hours Helen put the group through their paces and we saw the beginnings of our Tree Story. Over the next few months we shall be working hard with Helen to put it all together for the grand finale to be held in Windsor Great Park.

Tree of Light - Electric Pedals comes to Burnham

In February year the Burnham Root Group and Electric Pedals were together in St Peter's School to take part in the first of the Tree of Light sessions starting this year. The Root Group made smoothies, lit up electric light bulbs and were DJs for the evening, powering the equipment by generating their own energy as they pedalled on bikes supplied Electric Pedals.

Electric Pedals are the company who will be powering the Tree of Light by cycle power for the performances in Windsor Great Park and Stonner Park Henley which our Root Group will be taking part in June and July 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad.