The New “Green” Spray Paint

Here the word “Grow” is attached to an old brick building. Photo by Anna Garforth. Source:

Guest Post by Mackenzie Fochs
September 12, 2012

When you think about moss, you might picture an emerald green forest in Olympic National Park with moss on trees and rocks, or maybe trees in Louisiana hanging with Spanish moss.  Now, moss is taking on a whole new world, thanks to artists like Anna Garforth and Edina Tokodi.

These artists have created works that juxtapose the natural world, represented by moss, with the inorganic world of buildings and streets.  Garforth and Tokodi have literally “greened up” barren urban walls by affixing moss in designs of shapes and words.  After the moss is attached to the wall and becomes established,  it grows to a plush green.

This new take on graffiti has come be to known as “eco-graffiti.”  As an article from the Huffington Post puts it, “If graffiti at its root seeks to confront and transform an urban canvas, then there is perhaps no act more subversive than using living, breathing organisms to change a bleak landscape into a verdant one.”

Takodi is the founder of Mosstika Urban Greenery, a collective of “eco-minded street artists, using gorilla tactics to evoke the call of man back to nature” based out of New York City.  They “aim to give green guerrilla tactics a new twist by creating works meant to be touched.”  The designs essentially asked to be touched once they have established—the softness of the moss is evident and their unique location gives passersby a reason to notice the designs.

Garforth has created both indoor and outdoor designs with moss, including her own form of “moss typography.”   She is based out of the U.K. and has worked nationally and internationally on projects.

You can create your own eco-graffiti using this recipe—all you need is some moss, water, buttermilk (beer or yogurt work well, too), and a blender!  Pick a spot that is shaded and don’t forget to mist your artwork to avoid letting it dry out.

Check out this video from an artist in the U.K.—he adds yet another twist to the idea of “eco-graffiti”:


For related articles, see:
Flower and Garden Show Inspires Green Growers
Best of Green Building Design Modeled in EcoCenter
Environmentally Friendly Garden Guide For Every Climate

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