Groves Gone Wild

"The Blue Trees"

Catherine D. Anspon
Posted:
May 09, 2013

Houston gets its own sacred grove — actually, a pair of sylvan sanctuaries — this spring, thanks to the Houston Arts Alliance, which tapped Melbourne-based artist Konstantin Dimopoulos to create a site-specific Temporary Art Program (TAP) for our fair town. Dimopoulos’ project, perfectly monikered The Blue Trees, emits an environmental statement along Waugh Drive, between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive, as two sizable stands of crape myrtles get the artist’s signature touch: a coat of ultramarine blue, which is nontoxic and ephemeral, fading and metamorphosing over a (predicted) period of six to 12 months until no trace of the heavenly hue remains. An ongoing participatory and ecological encounter that launched two years ago at the Vancouver Biennale in April 2011, our Blue Trees marks Dimopoulos’ largest transformation of a treescape to date and required hundreds of volunteers to complete, including area schoolchildren from Pin Oak Middle School. Also wielding a paintbrush loaded with cerulean dye was HAA CEO Jonathon Glus. Evocative of an otherworldly Magritte canvas at the Menil, these arbols elicit responses of surprise and delight from passing motorists and have even produced some impromptu picnics. “They represent the idea of mystery,” the artist told us.

LOOKATYOU