The Blue Trees is an ongoing environmental art installation by artist, Konstantin Dimopoulos, about global deforestation. With the help of the community, he takes urban environments and through color, transforms them into surreal blue landscapes. Konstantin tell us what inspired The Blue Trees art installment.
Paul Simon’s song Still Crazy after all these years could well be the anthem of countless generations going back to when we first got up on two legs and walked straight. These lyrics describe what I have long believed to be true:
We are all crazy. And continue to be crazy.
In the end it’s just the level of craziness that separates us from one another.
But we are crazy!
My environmental art installation, The Blue Trees grew out of this insanity that surrounds me. This madness. This wanton destruction of forests, rainforests, old-growth forests and oceans for greed, stupidity and short-term gain. A World War One landscape in the 21st century.
I created The Blue Trees artwork as a direct reaction to this insanity. A visual scream, a call for some sort of sanity amongst the madness. It attempts to give these ecosystems and trees a visibility and a voice that they do not have.
I talk for the trees, I talk for the Trees, for the trees have no tongues.
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax.
The Blue Trees brings their visibility to cities, communities and schools throughout the world. By using a vibrant blue watercolor, it brings trees to the forefront of our communities, streets, and parks by creating a surreal environment. Communities help me color the trees, so a conversation ensues and is perpetuated in homes, schools, workplaces and social media. Trees are important.
Unlike you and I, the old growth forests, the primordial forests of our world, do not have a voice, and because of where they exist, thousands of miles from our cities and homes they have no visibility.
They go quietly into that good night and disappear along with their resident ecosystems. These ecosystems that support countless species, including our own, are our worldly treasures that should not belong to any particular individual, tribe or state, but to us all. Governments and global corporations should be accountable for this ecocide. It’s the Tragedy of the Commons.
Today, only 30 percent of old-growth forests and 50 percent of rainforests remain. Every minute we lose the equivalent of 50 football fields of forests. We don’t have 300 more years to be subtle.
Just for the record blue is not my favorite color and I am not an environmental activist. I am an artist.
Like us all, I am also a piece of the continent, a part of the main, as John Donne’s poem reflects. Not any more are we islands entire of itself. Or if he was here today he may say, what happens in Vegas can no longer stay in Vegas. What happens in Vegas will effect what happens in Seattle, Singapore, Siberia or Sydney. Whatever semantics we use, if we do not change the way we relate to nature and the forests, the bell will surely be tolling for us all.
Change is not an easy thing. We change mainly through either inspiration or desperation. But change we must. Interestingly, although we hate change ourselves, we continually change the lives of countless ecosystems and species that remain. Ninety-nine percent of these species have disappeared from the planet since humans began clearing forests. Wildlife lost their homes and places to hide.
For these ecosystems and species, Mars is not an option. This planet is all they have. We on the other hand, the crazy ones, are already planning our exit strategy.
So what have we learned along the way? Obviously not enough to halt the destruction of our forests and oceans. We continue to be crazy even after all these millennia.
The choice is yours. The Blue Trees or no trees.
Note: The Blue Trees are colored using a biologically-safe water-based colorant that naturally degrades from the trees. To date I have created this artwork in Vancouver BC, Mississauga ON, Sacramento CA, Seattle WA, Albuquerque NM, Houston TX, Norcross GA, Gainesville FL, Chattanooga TN, Breckenridge CO, Jacksonville FL; and in Australia, Singapore, Germany and London, UK.
I have also created an education resource for schools using The Blue Trees to introduce creative thinking and learning in the classroom.