Inspired by wishing trees, found across the UK, Luke Jerram is designing a series of wooden sculptures to be sited in various locations for people to embed their hopes and dreams. The public will be asked to hammer in their coins and make a wish. Over months and years the coin studded sculptures will gradually become intricate and complex works of public art.
Investigating notions of hope, aspiration, superstition and belief, this is an ongoing arts project resulting in artworks which are animated and completed by members of the public. Some artworks will be temporary, whilst others, will be permanent, creating a slowly changing landmark in the landscape, a destination and focus for public discussion.
Created in partnership with carpenters, craftsman and local communities, each artwork will be made from locally sourced materials. Site specific, the form(s) of each artwork will vary, in response to its location.
History of Wishing Trees
The history of knocking coins into old fallen trees dates back to the 1700s. Similar to throwing a coin into a wishing well, hammering a coin into a wishing tree is supposed to create good luck or good fortune. Some people used to believe that if a sick person presses a coin into a tree, their illness would go away. If someone then takes the coin out, it is said that they then become ill. Here is a nice news story about wishing trees in the Daily Mail.