Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Thursday, 21 August 2008 09:44 UK

Twirly trees join city landscape

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Spinning trees cause a stir

Three rotating trees installed next to a major city road junction are the latest addition to Liverpool's artistic landscape.

Arbores Laetae - or Joyful Trees - has transformed a former brownfield site as part of the Biennial arts festival.

Designed by New York architects Diller, Scofidio and Renfro, festival bosses say the work gives people a chance to "view nature at its most unnatural".

The Biennial, featuring 30 commissions, officially opens on 20 September.

The slowly rotating trees, intended to be a playful reinvention of the public park, were largely welcomed by members of the public in their unveiling on Wednesday.

The trees can found at the heart of 17 hornbeam trees planted in a grid pattern at the corner of Great George Street and Parliament Street, but are not immediately obvious to passing pedestrians or traffic.

I was walking on the sidewalk and the tree was following me as I was walking along - it was quite strange
Rick Scofidio

Some people find their unfamiliar shading patterns tranquil and others, unsettling, which was the aim, according to designer, Rick Scofidio.

Mr Scofidio told BBC News: "I found that it's both beautiful, wonderful and a little bit frightening.

"Trees in poems are beautiful objects, but they are also things that tap on your window at night and in many fairy stories are quite evil and dangerous.

"But these trees are like people. It's nice being up here with them and they change your view and perception of the world.

"The other day when I arrived I was walking on the sidewalk and the tree was following me as I was walking along - it was quite strange.

"If you stand and look at the tree and the world starts spinning around you - it can be very disturbing."

Fifteen of the art works commissioned for the month-long festival, which is one of the Capital of Culture highlights, will be exhibited in public spaces.


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