These may not have arrived in your town yet. But they visited London’s Festival Gardens, near St Paul’s Cathedral (and two other locations), in the summer of 2013 as part of the City of London Festival. They were the brainchild of Australian artist, Konstantin Dimopoulus, and the concept has been on tour since 2005, calling at various cities around the world. The idea is to raise awareness of urban trees, which are so often taken for granted until they go AWOL. If that sounds a little twee (and perilously close to tree-hugging), think about it for a minute, because it’s actually an important point. We really can’t afford to lose trees unnecessarily and, quite frankly, could do with a heck of a lot more. As the big tree said to the little tree, “You’ll be sorry when I’m gone.”
And I will confess, once I’d got over my initial reaction along the lines of, “Good grief, what a waste of time and money”, I got to thinking that the effect was rather striking.
Street art obviously hits a wider audience than something stuck in a gallery, though I did ask several Londoners what they thought about the trees and none of them admitted to noticing them. In fairness, something like this is hard to miss; maybe I consulted the wrong sort of people.
No trees, animals, or anything else was harmed during the creation of this exhibit; the blue colouring used is a safe, water-based, one. And it did not cost the taxpayer anything; the blue trees were funded by a charity, Trees for Cities, whose website is HERE.