These Artists Use Grass as Their Palette

© Ackroyd and Harvey

Ackroyd and Harvey are two British artists who use grass as their palette. Previous works have included covering the side of the National Theatre in London with grass, filling an empty church with a grass floor and planting 7,000 acorns in pots in homage to the German artist Joseph Beuys.

But this latest work, in a country house in Chamarande, France, consists of "photos" of people who work for the local government.

© Ackroyd and Harvey

Except the pictures are made out of seedling grass, with the different colours and textures caused by photosynthesis. The grass is more or less green, depending on whether or not exposed to light. The couple use grass as one of their favourite materials. They work within public spaces where the impact is on a grand scale. They combine sculpture, photography, science, architecture and ecology in their work.

It's temporary, of course. As the grass grows, the pictures change and disappear. As they say: "We know that the image will fade, the grass will yellow and die. The gradual disappearance of the image from vision, memory, life, is implicit in what we are looking at."

© Ackroyd and Harvey

Their work is also being featured at the new Olympic Park. Ten trees at the entrance to the new Olympic Park will be planted and surrounded with engraved metal rings, six metres in diameter and weighing almost half a ton. The rings will be engraved as a memorial to the games.

As they explain:

A tree marks time. This artwork will grow year by year, transform as the seasons change, reflecting the evolving nature of the Olympic Park. These trees embrace metal rings which have been engraved with a record of the site’s history, held in the branches for successive decades to come.

© Ackroyd and Harvey

The inscriptions differ; one for the English Oak, and another for Common Ash. Three of the History Trees have been planted already and another seven will be planted after the Games. The rings have an archive of the history of the local area. A bronze ring in the ground reflects the shadow cast by the ring.

Tags: Artists | France | Grass | London | Olympics

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