These Artists Are Growing Grass That Actually Avails Portraits!

RealClear Staff


     British artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey are giving new meaning to “sitting around and watching the grass grow”—they do it quite literally. These Brits have actually made an art out of the otherwise-boring blades.

[Dan Harvey & Heather Ackroyd | Source:]

By tweaking rays of light, Dan and Heather manipulate grass to give rise to an image of their choosing. Their process entails a canvas being covered with a watery paste. Once they’ve shellacked an entire surface, they sprinkle germinated seeds all about it. After the medium’s emblazoned with the ingredients, Ackroyd and Harvey turn their studio into a total-dark room—save the smallest bits of light being projected through a negative slide. Upon that process, nature literally plays its part—photosynthesis. In just a few weeks, the vertical plane has grown grass that’s a perfect imprint of the photograph they selected.

It’s not magic, rather the amount of light they allow to shine on the surface. They’ve set up each part of the negative to determine the intensity of light—beit a bright green or a grim yellow. This spectrum aids these artists in creating a juxtaposition of color shades that come together in an awesome image—portraits are their passion.

Their chlorophyll-based creations have been ten years in the making. Ackroyd and Harvey have truly brought art and science together. “Where the strongest light hits the grass, it produces more of the chlorophyll—more of the green pigment. Where there’s less light, it’s less green; and where there’s no light, it grows—but it’s etiolated and yellow,” Dan Harvey said in an interview. “So you get the equivalent of a black-and-white photograph but in tones of green and yellow.”

[Image of the Elderly Show by Harvey & Ackroyd | Source:]

All these living illustrations must be maintained in low-light conditions and watered regularly in order to stay alive indefinitely. However, like any photograph of old, fading is inevitable. Regardless, Ackroyd & Harvey’s blades of beauty remind us all of just how amazing life can be.

[Video: courtesy of Great Big Story]



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