London Olympics Baobab Tree Sculpture Uses Fabric To Tell A Yarn

05/25/2012 02:36 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2012

The London Olympics will bring together people from all cultures and a group of British artists are celebrating that idea with a giant tree.

But not just any tree. The sculpture entitled "Under the Baobab" uses half a ton of steel, several tons of wood, nearly 2,400 feet of fabric and almost a kilometer of piping to create a fabric-covered replica of a baobab tree, which has long been a symbol of community in Africa.

Creative director Beatrix Eden hopes the giant tree will spark conversation among visitors from different countries.

"During the summer, thousands of people will gather in London and visitors from across the globe will be stepping closer to one another," she told ThisIsNottingham.com. "Inspired by the idea of the space between strangers becoming smaller, we created the Baobab Tree as a unique meeting place for chance encounters sparking new conversations."

The sculpture was unveiled May 24 outside London's Southbank Centre and Eden hopes visitors and locals who see the giant fabric-covered tree "will recognise threads from their own cultures woven into this meeting place at the heart of a global gathering."

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