Every year‭, ‬in every country with some Christian remnant‭, ‬observation or fascination‭, ‬a phenomenon occurs‭. ‬Largely Fir trees‭, ‬but also Spruces and Pines can be found sat on street corners‭, ‬pavements‭, ‬parks‭, ‬bin areas‭, ‬and even less desirable or helpful places‭, ‬isolated or in dense herds‭, ‬waiting to be recycled‭, ‬reclaimed or taken to landfill‭. ‬Tall‭, ‬short‭, ‬fat‭, ‬thin‭, ‬the trees for the most part seem out of place‭, ‬especially in the large towns and cities that make use of‭ ‬them in the tens of thousands that they do‭. ‬It’‬s a tradition‭, ‬which in the age of austerity and planet-friendly thought, is being questioned more and more‭, ‬yet the experience of owning temporarily‭, ‬a living breathing tree‭, ‬even just a fortnight‭, ‬is one that simply cannot be replicated‭.‬ The Christmas trees themselves‭, ‬some worth hundreds of pounds‭, ‬are in many ways an insight into the lives of their owners‭. ‬

Their‭ ‬size can often be a signifier of available disposable income‭, ‬lifestyle and personal taste‭. ‬How soon they are taken out from their temporary homes‭, ‬a sign of personality‭, ‬superstition or simply indifference‭. ‬How they are discarded‭, ‬a pointer of politeness or self-awareness‭, ‬perhaps‭. ‬In any case‭, ‬these trees‭, ‬which often lay in waiting‭ ‬for days‭, ‬weeks and even sometimes months for their fates‭, ‬are iconic‭, ‬nostalgic and endearing‭. ‬There is something about their‭ ‬sight that with little effort‭, ‬can tug at heartstrings or force a smile‭; ‬they are neither people‭, ‬nor pets‭, ‬and yet their ability to trigger emotions in the way either might‭, ‬is undeniable‭.

Firs‭, ‬was photographed over a fortnight in 2019‭, ‬across London with the simple aim of documenting these trees in their purgatorial stage of life‭, ‬beautifying them as they lay exposed to the elements‭, ‬wildlife and city air‭. ‬Although inanimate‭, ‬it was often‭ ‬as though many had their own personalities‭, ‬enhanced by the surroundings and settings they were discovered in‭. ‬While seen by some as an unaffordable or pointless luxury‭, ‬or in other cases‭, ‬an avoidable‭, ‬seasonal nuisance‭, ‬Firs was created not as a commentary or critique on the perils of capitalism‭, ‬but as a visual survey on a peculiar part of British culture‭.‬