We've seen a lot of wacky Christmas trees made from everything from beer bottles to bicycles in our day but never one made of shopping carts! Believe it or not, 86 metal shopping carts were balanced atop one another to form this 33-foot-tall holiday tree which graced the Frank Gehry-designed Edgemar mall in Santa Monica, California a few years ago. Designed by artist Anthony Schmitt, this beacon of holiday spirit attracted a lot of attention with its glittering good looks and rather unconventional material.
Images © Graham King
“The shopping cart tree symbolizes both generosity and abundance, as well as acknowledging those less fortunate where their whole world may be housed in a cart. We see shopping carts every day and take them for granted. Individually the beauty of an everyday object may become invisible, but in quantity you can’t miss it,” says Anthony Schmitt of his design.
This actually wasn’t the first time that the shopping cart tree was erected – Schmitt conceived the idea more than a decade ago at the request of Abby Sher, the former owner and developer of Edgemar, and the Colwell and Belden families have continued the annual tradition of commissioning the tree since buying Edgemar in 2007.
The 2010 tree is made out of mostly full size carts with some smaller versions at the top to create a forced perspective of height. The carts are supported by an internal structure that remains nearly invisible, allowing the carts to seem like they were merely stacked atop one another and left in that perilous formation.
Images © Peter Brooker Photography and Graham King