In olden days, on the last day of April, young unmarried men would raise Maypoles in front of their girlfriends’ houses. If they did this in the 15th century in Germany, it would be considered a law-binding marrying agreement! Thankfully these days the tradition is only an excuse to meet and dance together to celebrate the arrival of spring and female beauty. Many nations have this tradition of elevating a young tree on a long wooden pole, decorated with many colourful ribbons. Check out some great international examples of Maypoles by country. But did you know artists have been making art inspired by maypoles? This tag shows some examples.
May Installation on 10 trees in Empson street E3, London. 22 May 2013
When the ribbons from my outdoor May Installation (above) were stolen in 2013, I knew I wanted to revisit this topic again. A perfect opportunity has arrived. Mira Varg and I (both studying at UAL – CSM, MA Art and Science and are Slovak) proposed to make a May sculpture for a Student May Ball in the Embassy Of the Slovak Republic in London. We were both delighted when the Embassy liked the idea. We enjoyed our collaboration a lot!
We’d like to thank The Embassy Of the Slovak Republic and The Embassy of The Czech Republic for this year’s Students May Ball, which happened last night. So many amazing people turned up, lots of beer was consumed and much traditional food was eaten! And I think I speak for all that attended when I say, we had a great time! I’ll finish off with these images of folk dancing by Morena Dance Company below. Thanks for reading this post and I hope to see you maybe during one of the future events in the Embassy. Take care. S.