Aviva Rahmani, ecological artist
Blue Rocks Project

Blue Rocks

In 2002, Blue Rocks was initiated at Pleasant River on Vinalhaven Island, Maine. Aviva Rahmani painted 40 large boulders around an obstructed causeway, with a casein slurry of non-toxic ultramarine pigment, buttermilk and native mosses to encourage the growth of more moss. When the town of Vinalhaven subpoenaed the artist to wash the rocks clean, she announced a “wash-in,” and educated people about estuarine health.

There were two goals:

  1. To test her Trigger Point Theory by seeing if the restoration of a small site could have a regional impact. In aerial photography, the two sides of the island look like the chambers of a beating heart. The Army Corps of Engineers had narrowed the causeway, which impeded tidal flow between fresh and salt water, causing stagnation.

  2. To explore how to catalyze a chain reaction of events (by drawing attention to the site with the painted rocks and a subsequent wash-in) that would result in a thriving community relationship to a healthy ecosystem.

The site was selected by analyzing relevant Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping. That GIS work was completed by Gordon Longsworth of the College of the Atlantic for the Vinalhaven Land Trust. Rahmani’s GIS analysis, was based on her work as Chair of the Natural Resources sub-committee for the 2005 Vinalhaven Comprehensive Plan.


Stills from Blue Rocks have been shown in the following exhibition: In the Green curated by Audra Bowsky, Woman Made Gallery website, March 20 - April 22, 2013.


Rahmani, Aviva. "Why Blue Rocks?" Available online at: http://greenmuseum.org/content/artist_content/ct_id-91__artist_id-23.html, 2002.

Denson, Roger. "Nomads Occupy the Global Village: Left Political Art Timeline, 2001-2012" The Huffington Post. May 1, 2012.

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