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Tree and Scooters

19 riders followed the artist on Vespa and Lambretta scooters in a procession through Plymouth’s roads. Each scooter carried a flag which together display an image of a plastic poplar tree. The piece was a commentary on human’s effect on the environment.

Artist: Richard William Wheater
Category: Temporary
Date: 2015
Location: View on our Public Art Map [desktop and tablet; requires Google sign-in]
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Commissioner: Craft Council
Partners: Plymouth City Council, Plymouth College of Art


Project Description

The scooter rode from TR2, heading to Plymouth City Centre via The Barbican, Hoe and Union Street before arriving at Plymouth College of Art for the ‘finish’.

Each scooter carried a flag that illustrated a section of a plastic poplar tree – when laid out together at their ceremonial end made up the whole tree. The work was a visible statement about our effect on the environment and our relationship with the natural world in urban spaces.

Tree and Scooters was reminiscent of traditional British folk processions; replacing older signifiers such as drawn carts with symbols of contemporary British folk art culture in the crafted and personalised scooters.

The piece was part of the ‘Acts of Making’; a two-week festival in Plymouth and Mount Edgcumbe celebrating contemporary craft through performance and live installations, often encouraging the public to collaborate with practitioners to create brand new works of art.

About the Artist

Richard William Wheater predominantly works as a neon artist but also works across a variety of different disciplines. Performance and installation art allow him to engage with a wider range of people and explore how his work is presented outside of a gallery setting.

Related links

Read more on the performance on the Craft Council website. (Accessed 5 September 2018)

See more of Wheater’s work on his website. (Accessed 13 September 2018)