Painting the Town Green: 7 Works of Plant, Grass & Moss Art
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Green art and environmental design are often thought of as pragmatic strategies for promoting sustainability such as guerilla gardening. However, these terms can also refer to a variety of creative art from colorful plantings to amazing living walls. Here are seven examples of green creativity that involve alternative uses of natural materials.
Selectively grown plant art is perhaps the antithesis of the strange crop circle phenomenon. The above was accomplished by carefully planting and cultivating a broad variety of species. However, on the more practical side of things, adding extra fertilizer to selected areas can also create interesting patterns without compromising the viability of crops.
Grass covered architecture can be both artistic and pragmatic. The first image above depicts an art installation project complete with acoustical accompaniment and set in an abandoned church. The latter building is a working theater, and the grass exterior actually provides shade for the structure, though it is less practical than other examples of living walls.
Grass photography takes advantage of that unique property of living things: growth and change over time. By planting a canvas and then selectively allowing light through, grass photographers create grass images that are at once richly textured and inherently temporary.
Moss graffiti, like guerilla gardening or grass photography, can have a strong element of time – a period of waiting for the art to come fully to fruition. However, some moss graffiti artists also attach their creations in a ready-made form. Still, whatever the process, using moss as art invariably means that the nature of the art will change over time.
As water becomes more and more scarce, an amazing niche has appeared and quickly been filled: grass painting. It might sound ridiculous but there are actually businesses that paint grass professionally. The idea of the green lawn, it would seem, really is tied into many Americans’ dreams of the single family house with its picket fences.
Even in the desert of Nevada people have found creative ways to toy with nature, importing grass to one of the hottest and driest regions of the world for one week a year during the Burning Man festival. This is, however, perhaps not what the festival’s creators meant when they established the Black Rock City 2007 Green Man theme.