Christmas – Restricted Access

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Andy Thorpe under Uncategorized
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047c Xmas Tree Barrier 4

The connection is trees; and once again in this photo-connection series the trees shown are conifers. ‘Tis the season to erect conifers and other Christmas decorations in shopping areas. (I was going to connect with “locks“ but a seasonal subject won the day.)

The intention is to create a warm festive feeling at a dark and cold time of the year, but I think the crowd control barriers around the tree reduce this effect and could be used as a way to convey a different message, ie some people aren’t able to access the nice aspects of the festive season.

Barriers like those in the photo seem to be placed around all such temporary trees in public places these days, presumably due to health and safety concerns over getting tangled up in branches, but why can’t the barriers be less substantial and seasonally decorative? (Do any examples exist?) To aid white stick users in negotiating their way around such a tree, a lower barrier would be sufficient…although this doesn’t seem to be a necessity for standard trees in public spaces that are unprotected all year round.

I wondered how small children might view such barriers so I’ve used a low angle (below) to show what barriers in front of trees would look like (vari-angle camera screens are great). Such barriers would probably come across as being huge, stark and unattractive objects that, confusingly, spoil the view of festive trees.

047j Xmas Tree Barrier 047i Xmas Tree Barrier 047h Xmas Tree Barrier

By the way, Birmingham’s bull at the Bull ring shopping centre has been decorated for the festive season, which I guess is fine, but why install barriers around it? Perhaps society has low expectations of people in terms of how they’ll react to a decorated statue/tree. Maybe barriers should be removed to see what would happen. I’m sure, along with the trees above, it would be fine.

047f Xmas Tree Barrier 7

Below are some other examples of barriered Christmas trees in public spaces. Sadly there are many others…

047e Xmas Tree Barrier 6  047d Xmas Tree Barrier 5


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