Ackroyd & Harvey’s unique works are about as natural as you can get. Their canvas is grass and their technique relies on photosynthesis. Light is transformed into life. In a digital age as we live in now, Ackroyd & Harvey use a technique which is similar to that of photogram, the first type of photography and they have been successful at it for many years. They are present at the Festival Images in Vevey, Switzerland running till 30th september. (cover photo ‘Testament’ at Festival Images)
Projecting a photo on a base of planted with grass seeds, the grass produces more chlorophyll (the green pigment) where the light is stronger, creating a pasture of grass with tones ranging from bright yellow to dark green. The colors of each blade of grass change as the grass grows according to the intensity of the light they receive. The grass growing in less light will be brighter, and the grass blades in the light will be darker, resulting in an image akin to a black and white photograph but in tones of yellow to dark green. The entire process symbolizes our connection to the earth. The chlorophyll molecule in the grass is actually quite similar to the molecules of our blood only with magnesium at it’s center not iron. Controlling this natural process is quite complex. The results are quite profound.
The photo’s are often temporary in nature, as the chlorophyll, being a natural pigment, will eventually fade if it receives to much light – however if dried and exhibited in low light levels they can last for many years.