8th December 2023 - 10th January 2024
Outdoor Gallery, Arena Square, Photography, 2023
As the festive season approaches, step into a magical world of festive cheer and discover the fascinating evolution of Santa Claus at the “From Saint to Santa” outdoor exhibition in Wembley Park. An enchanting display of 32 photographs and illustrations takes you on a captivating journey through the ages, from Norse Yule celebrations to the modern-day portrayal of a truly global icon.
Unravel the Origins of Santa Claus
Embark on a magical journey through Arena Square, next to the Grade II listed OVO Arena Wembley, and discover the fascinating and unexpected roots of Santa Claus. You will learn about Santa’s origins as Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century bishop who became renowned for his generosity and kindness, and other mythological figures that influenced Santa’s origins, from the Norse Yule figure of Odin to the Saturnalia festivals in ancient Rome.
Explore the Influence of Art and Literature
Discover the impact of renowned American authors like William Irving and Clement Clarke Moore, as well as artists like Thomas Nast and Norman Rockwell, in shaping the modern image of Santa Claus we’re all familiar with. You will learn how their works transformed the figure of Santa from a serious saint into a jolly, gift-giving icon.
Santa’s Journey Through the Decades
Immerse yourself in the fascinating transformation of Santa Claus in the XX century, tracing how advertising and modern popular culture have shaped his image. Embrace the diversity and global unity embodies by Santa, as the exhibition showcases the representation of the much-loved icon across different across different traditions and customs. Look into the future of Santa Claus and how emerging technologies and evolving cultural perspectives will influence this timeless character.
Winter in Wembley Park
Wrap up warm and enjoy the fresh festive air in Wembley Park this winter. Get lost in our light maze and art installation. Wonder around our festive markets to pick up the perfect artisan gift. Catch some live choirs and music with a warming tipple. Explore new art installations, grab a bite to eat with special yuletide menus and more. Winter in Wembley Park is the place to be for festive spirit.