Take a stroll along Tjuvholmen in the evening and you will come across a colourful electrical tree entitled the “Oslo Tree”. Made up of 150,000 LED light bulbs that changes color, this massive 14-meter-tall luminescent installation is made by American artist Alexander Green. The stunning artwork was commissioned by Symmetry Labs and cleverly designed to withstand the harsh Norwegian climate, including frost and snow. The lighting scheme within the tree is thoughtfully tailored to reflect the changing seasons.
It was the wealthy businessman Stein Erik Hagen who purchased the artwork at the Burning Man festival in Nevada in 2017 and generously gifted it to the people of Oslo. By illuminating the city’s streets, Hagen wanted the tree to symbolize Oslo’s core values: a deep appreciation for forests, nature, and the environment. Initially, his plan was to place the tree in Sofienbergparken in Grünerløkka, also in Oslo, but it ultimately found its home in Trettenparken in Filipstad, close to Skur 13.
“The Tree of Ténéré” is the original name of the art installation, and its name has its origins in a 300-year-old tree that once stood all alone in the middle of the African country of Niger, far out in the Saharan desert, in the Ténéré region. With no other trees within a 400-kilometre radius, The tree served as a focal point and resting place for travelers through the desert.