Science | January 28, 2017 5:00 am

Quirky British Artists Use Grass to Make Portraits


Dan Harvey and Heather Ackroyd (known professionally as Ackroyd & Harvey) have collaborated as ecologists, architects, sculptors, and photographers since 1990. One of their more inventive projects is their series of grass portraits.

A grass portrait, or “photosynthesis work,” is made by covering a large-scale canvas with water paste and sticking germinated seeds to it. Once the canvas is ready, Ackroyd & Harvey let the grass grow vertically and turn their studio into a dark room, with the only light coming from a projected negative image of the portrait subject. Subsequently, the grass that gets more light produces more chlorophyll and green pigment, which they compare to a black-and-white photograph.

The two artists only grow one or two grass portraits a year, intending them as statements about climate change that blur the line between science, nature, and art.

Below, watch Great Big Story‘s video about them and see their process in action.

—RealClearLife Staff