The Blue Trees, a socially-driven art action, was created and conceived by Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos to inspire awareness and discussion about global deforestation. For the project’s Northwest debut, trees in Seattle’s Westlake Park and along the Burke-Gilman Trail in Kenmore are being temporarily transformed using environmentally safe, water-based pigment. An ephemeral work, they will gradually revert from the striking ultramarine blue back to their natural state.
Staring April 2nd, the artist and community volunteers will transform 16 existing Honey Locust trees at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle and 40 newly planted Jacquemontii Birch trees along the Burke-Gilman Trail near NE Bothell Way and 80th Ave NE in Kenmore, which will enhance the trail and remain as a legacy for the community. Update: Thank you for an enthusiastic response to our call for volunteers. We are all set!
Why Blue Trees?
Every year the planet loses some 32 million acres of forests, trees which by transforming carbon dioxide into oxygen, literally help sustain life. Deforestation contributes to climate change. Trees breathe for the planet and without them, appropriate conditions for human, animal and plant life may not be sustained.
“Through my work I am striving to address global issues and provide a visual platform to effect change. So many universal concerns seem larger than an individual’s power of influence and I want to evoke in people the idea that we can all contribute to change in a positive way.” - Konstantin Dimopoulos
Color is a powerful stimulant, a means of altering perception and defining space and time. Blue is a color that is not naturally identified with trees and suggests that something unusual, something out of the ordinary is happening. In nature, color is used both as a means of protection and as a mechanism to attract. The Blue Trees is an attempt to elicit a similar response from viewers and inspire conversation and action around deforestation issues.
Update: Read a post by Dimopoulos on his process and thinking.
The Blue Trees is being produced by 4Culture, the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and Seattle Parks and Recreation with additional support from SODO Builders, Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Curator PR, and a generous private donor.