How often do you notice the landscape as you make your way through your busy days? The sky is blue. The grass is green. Office buildings are grey, brown, black and white.
What if one day, you looked up and the tree trunks were blue instead of brown?
Italian artist Lucio Micheletti does exactly that: He wraps tree trunks in blue fabric to provoke passersby into thinking about the environment.
“By changing the scenery, you focus attention,” he said through an interpreter during the opening of his Blue Forest art installation at the James Royal Palm hotel in Miami Beach.
The installation included 12 palm trees wrapped in Mediterranean blue Sunbrella fabric. Ubiquitous in the Caribbean landscape, a dozen palm trees turned blue and swaying in the breeze grabbed the attention of pedestrians walking by on the hotel’s Collins Avenue location.
By changing peoples’ perspective on the world, Micheletti hopes to focus attention on the environment.
“To live well, we need an excellent quality of life and to achieve an excellent quality of life we need to respect the environment,” he said. “With this installation we want to make people understand that they should be aware of the need to protect the environment and nature.”
The palm trees line the grassy area at the center of the hotel’s oval driveway; each was wrapped in long strips of fabric cut into foot-wide increments.
The bright blue fabric and bright green palm tree foliage combine to create a striking contrast against Miami’s sun-washed, pale-blue sky. Micheletti works with trees because they are, “the thermometer of the planet.
“My art is an art that creates sceneries,” he added. “It changes the way we perceive a place. For me, it was very important to wrap the trees because it gives a sense of protecting nature and the environment.”
After the fabric was removed from the palm trees it was recycled in the Recycle My Sunbrella program.
Art provides a moment for people to reflect and reconsider their world. Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, the maker of Sunbrella, supports artistic exploration through donations of materials to textile artists. The company also strives to protect the planet by setting high standards of sustainability for its manufacturing plants. Its plant in Anderson, S.C., is a landfill-free facility, and its Norlina plant hosts a 500-kilowatt solar array capable of powering 47 homes. The company has programs to reduce water consumption in each of its plants.