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British people create eco-friendly paintings using photosynthesis

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A creative pair of artists from England learned to use the usual lawn grass as a palette for their paintings.

Green grass is an accessible part of nature that grows all over the planet. We plant grass on lawns, beautify and decorate our plots. Some use it for medicinal and culinary purposes. However, artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey offered the world a new field of green beauty usage – art. They create real masterpieces of painting with the help of grass!

In order to get a large-scale eco-friendly canvas artists germinate the seeds of herbs for two weeks. When the seeds germinate and suggest good growth in the future, artists attach burlap to the canvas, which is covered with a special nutritious paste used as a soil for grass. Then, the seeds of sprouted grass are spread over the entire surface of the picture.

After that, miracles of nature begin to happen! Canvases are placed in a room where there are no light sources. With the help of the projector, photographic negatives are displayed on the canvas. A couple of weeks the canvas stays in a position where the light from the projector hits the right areas of the picture. As a result, places that receive the most light and, accordingly, produce more chlorophyll overgrow with lush green grass. In places where the light is slightly less – the grass grows weaker with a less saturated green colour. And, finally, in areas not receiving light, the grass also grows, but very slowly, in addition, it has a yellowish colour. Thus, a black and white photograph is reflected on the canvas, but with green and yellow appearance.

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The artists managed to develop this technique by trial and error – it was a kind of global experiment in which they tried to create “living pixels”. Heather Ackroyd says that the method of their work is really very interesting, extraordinary and in many respects it is phenomenal. If you equate a molecule of chlorophyll to a pixel, you can say that the artists create their own pictures, adjusting the number of pixels per centimetre.

Surprisingly, one more interesting fact is that if these live canvases are regularly watered and kept in a room with a low level of illumination, they can remain alive and bright for a very long time!

On the question of what a global mission the project contains, the artists answer:

– If you look back, you will see that our life has changed a lot in the last five years. Climate change, the acceleration of the pace of life, the growth of megacities … We are harmful to nature and science shows it to us. But our activity shows how poetic science and nature can be. We believe that people should protect nature and at least have to correct their actions that harm nature! All this leads to self-destruction! We need to rethink our behaviour, understand what it means to be a part of life on this planet, and art is a vital part of this puzzle.