Week 20 Blued Trees Symphony

Bright stick trapped’ sucrose mixed media, 40 cm diam 2018.03.21Niamh Cunningham 倪芙瑞莲 2018


Delighted to be in contact with environmental artist Aviva Rahmani for this weeks tree story .   Here are a few words about her Blued Trees Symphony project.


In June 2016 Reynolds Hills outskirts of New York teams of neighbours and children equipped with buckets of non toxic caesin set out to paint blue waves on selected tree trunks along the trajectory planned for the construction of a fracked gas pipeline. The blue sine waves were musical notes , if viewed from above the undulating score of blued trees were part of a greater symphonic sculpture. 

Photo credit :Robin Scully, Chinkapin Hill, Virginia 2016

Rahmani didn’t want to copyright the actual trees as it would too closely echoe Monsantos copyrighting of seeds so instead she copyrighted the entire artwork as a legal statement to the company Spectra to reconsider its construction plans which would pass a little over a 100 feet away from the back up electricity for a nuclear power plant Indian Point.  Alas the contractors for Spectra moved in and six months later the blued trees were gone.  



“Once I designed the project, I released it into the world and just trusted that others would do it right,” said Rahmani of Blued Trees . “We’ve all become part of the same habitat, and we’re all affected in the same ways.” Village Voice 29.06.2016

Other movements of ‘Blued Trees’ have sprung up along other proposed gas pipelines in Blacksburg Virginia, Conestoga Pennsylvania, and other places .

As we chatted by e mail about the current Covid era Rahmani said

“If we imagine Mother Earth is real and sentient, then she has designed the best installation performance event ever to drive home her points: lock up all the humans and make them forage for toilet paper.”



For more information on the project: 



A big thank you also to sculptor Jon Hudson for suggesting I contact Aviva Rahmani .

Memory Palace of Trees 2020 is an ecological art practice which invites your participation to tell a story (or give some kind of information) about trees. It is a social enquiry of how to live better with the planet and with people by simply sharing stories. You are cordially invited to tell me your story of a tree or trees. (email : niamh@niamhcunningham.com) I would love to hear from you. Each week throughout 2020 a story will be posted with either an artwork already made or perhaps your story will inspire me to make a new work!