If you are looking for the best Christmas decorations in Britain, then look no further than the National Gallery of Victoria, which has made headlines for its stunning gold wall decorations.
The exhibition has been the centrepiece of the UK’s Christmas celebrations and has become a favourite for visitors since it opened in February 2013.
The theme is ‘Living the New Year with Love’, and the gold, blue and pink decorations reflect the love for each other and the holiday spirit.
There are also giant balloons and giant lights, which you can see from the museum’s main building, The National Gallery.
‘This is the first time we’ve had such a wide range of different styles of decorations,’ says David Hall, curator of the exhibition.
‘We’ve been seeing a huge range of ideas, from the modern, to the retro and everything in between.
‘It’s very hard to imagine a more beautiful time to be a visitor than Christmas, and there are just a number of different ideas.’
Some of the more striking designs are based on Victorian art, with colourful tulips and Christmas trees.
Other festive scenes include giant Christmas trees, decorated with Christmas lights, and a Santa Claus, who walks down the aisle of a house with a wreath.
The Victorian style of Christmas decoration is also reflected in the artworks, which have been crafted by hand.
The National’s Victoria, one of the country’s biggest Christmas decorations, was constructed from reclaimed timber in London’s Hyde Park and is the subject of an exhibition opening on Christmas Day.
It has been transformed into a unique piece of art by artist Peter Brown, who says it is one of his most successful creations.
‘I’m always a little bit amazed by the quality of the work, especially the details, because we’ve got to be careful not to make mistakes, he said.
‘There’s a lot of workmanship involved, as well as making sure everything is right to a point.
‘A lot of the Victorian artists wanted to create a new, modern style and this one is very much a modern style.
It’s very much an expression of the people that are around us.’
The exhibition is one in a series of new works by the exhibition’s director, Sarah Taylor, who said she was inspired to create the exhibit after seeing the work of Victoria’s famous sculptor, George Burroughs.
‘The exhibition is part of a global movement to celebrate the Victorian era, and to create new artworks to celebrate these wonderful people who lived through this time,’ she said.
Sarah Taylor said she wanted to highlight Victoria’s ‘golden age’ at the National.
‘What Victoria was trying to do was create something that would look and feel as if it had been created at the end of the 19th century,’ she explained.
‘She was creating an exhibition of her life and her work that is an extension of that.’
One of the most popular designs in the Victoria is the golden chimney, which looks like a chimney with a light shining through.
The chandelier is decorated with a red, white and blue rose.
Sarah added that the chandeliers were created by artists like the sculptor George Burraws.
There is also a gold and purple flower, which is shaped like a giant Christmas tree, and an array of other colourful decorations.
‘In the Victorian age, it was very important to have a sense of decorum,’ Sarah said.
This includes the need for decorum, and making sure that everything is just right.
‘They wanted to make sure everything was just right to be beautiful.
They wanted to give you the feeling of being part of something special.’
Sarah added the chimes on the chimney were a great way to give the audience a sense that the chimneys were not just decorative, but had some meaning.
‘To the modern eye, the chimnies are the sound of Christmas coming,’ Sarah explained.
The display also features a series that includes a ‘live action’ model of the Victoria, a wooden doll that has been painted gold and decorated with red and blue tulips, and the ‘Merry Christmas’ toy that is decorated in red and pink.
The Victoria was one of Victoria and Victoria’s childrens’ projects and is now part of the museum.
‘People can go down to the National and see a real-life example of Victorian life in the Victorian period,’ Sarah added.
Sarah said she hopes to highlight the Victorian style and encourage people to explore the works of the great Victorian artists.
‘When people think of Victorian art they usually think of a period in the 19st century and that’s not the case.
‘Even though it’s an exhibition, it’s about the Victorian artist and how he or she came up with this style.
‘He or she was a brilliant artist and that is why they’re in our collection and we hope that people will come to see them.’
For more information about the Victoria and its life-changing exhibition, click here.