Seattle trees to be painted blue in enviro campaign

Mar 21, 2012

A King County arts organization says 56 trees in Seattle and Kenmore will be painted blue starting April 2 in a temporary art project meant to make people aware of global deforestation.

4Culture says volunteers will paint 16 trees at Seattle's Westlake Park and 40 trees along the Burke-Gillman bike trail. The group calls "The Blue Trees" a "socially driven art action."

The group will use a water-based paint that will dissolve.

"An ephemeral work, [the trees] will gradually revert from the striking ultramarine blue back to their natural state," 4Culture said in a blog post about the project.

Roots of the movement

The instillation is reminiscent of art installations by the artist Konstantin Dimopoulos. On his Website, Dimopoulos says:

The Blue Trees is a social art action.  Through colour I am making a personal statement about the spirituality of trees and their importance to our very survival: trees are the lungs of the planet.

Colour is a powerful stimulant, a means of altering perception and defining space and time. The fact that blue is a colour that is not naturally identified with trees suggests to the viewer that something unusual, something out of the ordinary has happened. It becomes a magical transformation.

In nature colour is used both as a defensive mechanism, a means of protection, and as a mechanism to attract. The Blue Trees attempts to waken a similar response from viewers.