Leeds branches out to bring city’s trees to life this summer: Trees Are Alive 1

17 May 2024

Leeds branches out to bring city’s trees to life this summer

Arts City centre Children

Trees across Leeds city centre are being brought to life as unique characters this summer thanks to a playful new art installation. 

“The Trees Are Alive” sees artist and designer Joe Mason breathe new life into the urban landscape by adorning 53 trees with more than 100 simple, yet captivating artworks, each featuring eyes, mouths, teeth and abstract shapes. 

Spanning three city centre locations, City Square, Albion Place and Queen Square, the installation uses basic materials to bring trees to life by giving them facial expressions and their own personality.

Joe said: “I wanted to tap into the universal human instinct to find patterns and faces in the world around us. We’re drawn to seek out the personality in everyday objects and that’s what I want to celebrate by drawing attention to the natural world within the city – and most importantly make people smile.”

Officially launching on May 22, the installation is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and will remain throughout summer. For those eager to unleash their inner artists, Joe Mason will also be hosting a children’s workshop on August 7 where people can make their own tree characters.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “Joe Mason’s art installation is a wonderful way to bring more play and imagination into the city centre, encouraging visitors to stay curious about nature and not just view it as static. Next time you find yourself wandering through the city centre, take a moment to pause, look up and appreciate our new friendly trees.

“We are working towards Leeds being the best city in the UK for children to grow up in and the new installation puts them at the heart of the city centre.”

Find out more at https://www.thetreesarealive.com/


The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit:



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