Fata Morgana

Wembley Park

22 November 2018

The fata morgana is a mirage prompted by an atmospheric temperature inversion – a vision on the horizon in which images compressed and stretch across one another, forming highly complex visuals.

The fata morgana served as one of the inspirations for, and the title of, a new installation designed by Silo Studio and commissioned by Disegno for Wembley Park over the Christmas period. Silo's Fata Morgana is a glowing Christmas tree, formed from 160 green ribbons that interlace to describe the outline of trees in a pine forest.

Silo Studio, founded by designers Attua Aparicio Torinos and Oscar Lessing, is a London-based practice known for its experimentation with materials and industrial processes. For Fata Morgana, the studio worked with a 8ft x 20ft box frame that has the dimensions of a standard international shipping container, within which it suspended its complex parabolic canopy of ribbons.

“Instead of a single tree we have made a section of a forest, as a specimen kept inside a box,” explain Lessing and Aparicio Torinos. “Using ribbons made from the material that advertising banners are produced from, we have woven and interconnected the trees to represent how the trees communicate.”

Silo chose to produce the tree using material suppliers local to London, with the installation designed to reveal and highlight its careful method of construction. As the ribbons buffet with air flow through the square outside Wembley Arena in which the installation is located, multicoloured lights illuminate the tree from below in order to sequentially highlight different areas of its construction.

Aparicio Torinos and Lessing were commissioned to create a tree that would complement the visual language of the Box Park currently being installed at Wembley Park. The studio also set their tree atop a plinth that is intended to provide seating for those visiting Wembley Park, transforming Fata Morgana into a meeting point for the area.

Like the mirage for which it is named, Fata Morgana creates a complex layering of images, each of which are picked out by the play of light across the installation. Intended as a non-traditional Christmas tree, the installation is intended to evoke the traditional symbology of the season, all while marrying this to a clear, contemporary constructional logic.