Imagine walking down a city street and, instead of paint tags, you find a spread of creative artwork growing in moss on a wall or building. You’ve found the latest in ecological guerrilla garden art –moss graffiti art.
Moss Graffiti - Ecological Artwork
Graffiti tends to have a negative impact on communities. Many people do not see it as art, but vandalism to their towns, cities, and society. It can cost councils a huge amount of money to remove graffiti and this money could be much better spent. A new style of graffiti has been spreading through the cities of the world, turning brown, white, or dull brick walls into greener, brighter, and more beautiful spaces for people to see. It is called moss graffiti, also known as eco-graffiti or green-graffiti.
Artists and green taggers create graffiti using moss, which is completely harmless to buildings. These creative artists create a paint-like mixture of moss and other ingredients and paint it on vertical surfaces using stencils or creating art freehand. Learn how to make moss graffiti on your own and you can decorate your home with words of inspiration or your garden wall with plant names and pictures.
What is Moss Graffiti?
What is moss graffiti? It’s green and ecological artwork designed to create an emotional response, just like other graffiti, but it doesn’t do any damage to the underlying structures. By replacing the harmful chemicals found in paints (such as methanol, which damages the nervous system when consumed in large quantities) with plant matter, the artist can still create works without damaging the environment. After application, the moss grows, adding a new dimension to the art medium as well as extending the concept of guerrilla gardening.
Does it Really Work?
There are many videos and articles on the internet that claim moss graffiti can be created in a blender. It's said that by taking clumps of moss and blending them with water (or sometimes beer), buttermilk, yogurt, and corn syrup you can create a thick liquid that can be painted on a wall with a brush. However, there are very few before/after photos or timelapse videos to be found showing the process and the results, though there are plenty of people showing off their moss graffiti creations.
No harm done trying it yourself because it is ecologically sound and can be easily removed by spraying lime juice on the design, which kills the moss spores. If you have a wall at home you'd like to brighten up, or permission from the council to rejuvenate an area in your community, follow this recipe to create some green art.
Recipe For Making Your Own Moss Graffiti
All you need is a small handful of moss, 2 cups of buttermilk (or yogurt), 2 cups of water, half a teaspoon of sugar, and corn syrup (only in case the mixture needs thickening). You can achieve the right moss 'batter' by washing the moss and removing as much soil from the roots as possible. Then break the moss into smaller pieces and put it in a blender. Add buttermilk or yogurt, water, sugar, and blend until the mixture is completely smooth.
The desired consistency is similar to paint. If your mixture is too runny you can thicken it by adding corn syrup. Once your moss mixture is ready, use a paintbrush to apply the moss paint to your desired surface (either by hand or with a stencil). Mist the painted surface daily until it begins to establish (which takes about a week). And remember to choose an area away from direct sunlight for your moss graffiti to grow.