Birmingham’s premier lifestyle and shopping destination, the Mailbox, has unveiled a series of specially commissioned, hand-crafted decorations set to bring drama, and a smile, to shoppers this Christmas.
The centrepiece of the designs is a 5.5m tall angel taking residence in the new Urban Room. A complete re-working of the traditional Christmas tree, the angel is inspired by Birmingham’s jewellery heritage. Created from a steel armature it is decorated in intricate detail with mixed materials including ribbons, velvet and in a surprising twist, hundreds of hand-painted gold and silver pasta jewels. A number of ornate Christmas cakes are also on display for shoppers to enjoy.
Based on an original concept by Mel Chantrey, a leading arts professor, Turner Prize nominee and Creative Adventurer at Milligan, the decorations have been meticulously crafted by the award winning firm, Cod Steaks. The Bristol-based company is renowned for bringing large scale creative installations to life, working with clients including Aardman Animations and the Royal Children’s Hospital, and most recently creating the life-size Bristol Whales sculpture for Artists Project Earth.
Commenting on the decorations, Mel said: “The Mailbox’s new Urban Room is a unique destination for people to meet, relax and enjoy, so we wanted to bring something special to the space this Christmas that was totally different to the traditional approach.
“Our angel has been created as an alternative to the Christmas tree, and a celebration of Birmingham’s world famous jewellery industry. Rather than using imitation stones, she is dressed in highly decorated pasta, which was inspired by a war-time tradition to create jewellery in this way as an alternative to increasingly rare precious metals.
“Along with the cake installations the result is really quite dramatic, with surprising details which we hope will become a real talking point for shoppers visiting the Mailbox over the festive season.”
The Mailbox is inviting people to name the angel by tweeting @MailboxLife or posting suggesting on its Facebook page.