Watermans Public Art Commission ‘Wishing Tree’

Waterman Commission Creative People and Places Wishing Tree by Ekta Kaul

The tradition of tying a piece of fabric or thread around a tree to make a wish is popular in many cultures. In India, threads are tied around Banyan trees to make a wish for a family member or friends. In China and Japan, ribbons are tied on trees when making a wish. Inspired by these Eastern traditions, Ekta created a wishing tree with a structure made of 4 bamboo poles wound with colourful threads which was placed at Hounslow High Street. People were invited to write their wishes for family, friends or the community on flags made from recycled fabric and attach them to the wishing tree yarns with a simple string.


Ekta used sustainable processes and materials for the installation. Recycled and reclaimed fabric was sourced locally in Hounslow for making the leaves. To create patterns, Ekta eco-printed  the fabric with locally foraged flowers and plants.


Nearly 300 positive messages from members  of public  were written on the leaves in a matter of just 4 hours. The installation travelled to Hounslow art Centre later.