THE arts organisation Deveron Projects is to mark "Brexit day" with the planting of a weeping willow "as a symbol of both loss and healing."

Artist Clemens Wilhelm will plant a weeping willow on the banks of the river Deveron close to Huntly Castle on 29 March, 2019.

A Berlin-based artist and film-maker, Wilhelm will plant the tree at sunset.

He said: "I have chosen the weeping willow as it is a tree that symbolises loss and sorrow, but it is also one that evokes healing.

"Since the Middle Ages weeping willows have been seen as symbols of lost love, mourning and sorrow, but there are much older sources from Babylon, China, and Pre-Christian Northern Europe that speak of the weeping willow as the tree of healing and magic, because the bark of willows contains salycyl, a substance similar to modern day aspirin, which has been used to cure illnesses since ancient times.”

"The Brexit Tree is an ambivalent image for an ambivalent moment in British, European and World History.

"Many people in Britain and the world feel an intense sorrow and loss because of Brexit."

He added: "More than half of British voters opted to leave the EU, and one should assume that they are hopeful, and see Brexit as the beginning of a positive new era. Just like Brexit, the weeping willow combines both of these opposing feelings - loss and healing - and unites them in its outstanding beauty.”

Claudia Zeiske, director of Deveron Projects, said: “The aim of this project is both to mark this historic day with the planting of a tree as a living memorial to this momentous event, and also to create a new peaceful place for people from both Brexit camps to unite again.”

THE award-winning design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn will present the first New Year’s lecture at V&A Dundee.

Her lecture, Design as an Attitude, will discuss "how designers are responding to an age of instability and explore how they are tackling some of the world’s greatest economic, political and ecological challenges."

The talk will mark the start of V&A Dundee’s 2019 programme which includes exhibitions exploring videogames, robots and the future of design.

Ms Rawsthorn said: “I am delighted to be returning to V&A Dundee to discuss the key themes of Design as an Attitude and to see how the programme is evolving and how the museum is influencing the city.”

Rawsthorn, who was awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts, is the author of several books on design, including Hello World: Where Design Meets Life.

Rawsthorn’s TED talk has been viewed by more than one million people worldwide.

Allan McIntyre, V&A Dundee’s creative industries producer, said: "As an international centre for design, V&A Dundee aims to highlight and examine the powerful role design plays.

"We are delighted to welcome Alice to the museum to host our first New Year’s lecture and discuss the challenges and developments that are having a profound impact on societies around the world.

"This is an exciting and important time for everyone interested in design, and I can’t think of a better way to mark the beginning of 2019."

The design and culture of contemporary videogames will be explored with the V&A’s spectacular exhibition Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, which will run at V&A Dundee from 20 April to 8 September 2019.

V&A Dundee’s New Year’s lecture Design as an Attitude with Alice Rawsthorn will be held on 10 January in the Juniper Auditorium.  

THE search for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019 has begun.

The biggest museum prize in the world, with a total prize value of £140,000, had Glasgow Women's Library on its short list last year.

The judges for 2019 are also announced today: David Batchelor, artist; Brenda Emmanus, broadcaster and journalist; Bridget McConnell, chief executive of Glasgow Life; and Bill Sherman, director of the Warburg Institute.

The Jury will be chaired by Stephen Deuchar, director of Art Fund.

The application deadline is 6 February 2019 and the finalist museums will be announced in May 2019.

The winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019 will be announced at an award ceremony at the Science Museum in London on 3 July.

Previous winners of the prize include: British Museum, London (2011), Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter (2012), William Morris Gallery, London (2013), Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (2014), The Whitworth, Manchester (2015), V&A Museum, London (2016), Hepworth Wakefield (2017), Tate St Ives (2018).