In 2010 we were commissioned to create a project at California State University San Bernardino.
The Blue Tree project engaged the removal of a tree from the University San campus. The loss of this Aleppo pine was deemed necessary to develop a new station on the line of the more efficient sbX (Bus) Rapid Transit system.
There was no doubt that the loss of the tree was a difficult subject for most of us involved in the project’s process.
Images of the tree have been printed into glass windshield panels within the new structure. The subject matter for the imagery was based on a series of actions and observations between us, the tree and the students and teachers from The Department of Art.
An archive of the process celebrating the many different perspectives on the event of a tree being cut, pruned, painted blue and photographed for public art. Blue images of the tree has be transposed onto the glass panels of the sbX station by a fabricator. The images of the tree blend into the sky on a clear blue day. On overcast or smoggy days, the same blue images of the tree will come to the visual forefront as the panel and white background frame them. As the sun passed though the glass images of the tree are cast onto the ground symbolizing the loss of the tree. These ghostly images serve as a visual memorial to the tree and the celebration of a new cleaner transit system.
site: California State University San Bernardino
client: Omnitrans sbX Bus Rapid Transit
artist Team:Freya Bardell and Brian Howe with Department of Art
medium: Wood, milk paint, tempered glass, video, social media, timelapse photography
dimensions: Phase 1: 45 ft x 18 Ft x 14 Ft, Phase 2: eight glass panels at 5 Ft x 5 Ft
construction techniques: chainsaw, boom lift, paint sprayer, ceramic frit glass printing
contractors: Griffith Company, California State University San Bernardino