The Wishing Thread

An art intervention by Manali Jagtap Nyheim

in collaboration with Cristiana Bottigella

Venue: Telegraph Hill Lower Park, London

Date: 25th March 2012, 11am - 4 pm





This is an activity for children that adapts the Hindu festival of Vat-Pournima (where women in India tie threads around the Banyan tree while wishing for long life for their loved ones) to Telegraph Hill Park. Each child will be asked to write down his/her wish for a loved one, choose a coloured thread from bright coloured balls of spun wool, and then spin the thread around selected tree(s) while thinking about the wish. The visual created is one of colourful threads spun around trees – with wishes attached for people to read.


For children who participate, the activity raises cultural awareness and brings the connection between our hopes and the environment to life. For adults, it is a reminder of the hopes and love that all children feel for their families and friends.  


Around 130 children visited the tree to make a wish. The kids found it difficult at first to make a wish for someone else but enjoyed the process of thinking of their loved ones and wishing them well. Some kids proactively decided among themselves wishes for each other. They were free to use writing / drawing to express their wishes.


The tree now has become a new space for kids to gather and play as they have emotions and memories attached to this tree.


'The Wishing Thread' at the Telegraph Hill Festival, 2012.

Video shot and edited by Stephen Carrick-Davies