Moss graffiti and guerilla gardening are no doubt all the rage for colonizing and beautifying neglected patches of the hood. Mosstika has reclaimed abandoned urban lots and transit stations and now Anna Garforth has a strategy for open air moss-typography that is literally a ‘mossenger’ for her poetically green ideas. It’s a synthesis that has resonance beyond street-based practice, as Garforth uses live moss text to spell out her environmental concerns with the hopes of providing a voice for the overlooked and ignored. Civilization’s cries mixed with nature’s persistence are definitely a compelling way to talk about the fragile state of what moves us.
The greening of typography has been on the make ever since the New York Times featured Gyongy Laky’s eco-crafty type on the cover of its 2008 Green Issue. Now London-based artist and designer, Anna Garforth, is aiming to spruce up dilapidated urban spaces with projects such as Mossenger and Sporeborne in an effort to create on-going moss street art in spaces that have otherwise been deemed devoid of life and vibrancy.
Garforth attaches her live moss to crumbling walls and surfaces with completely biodegradable ingredients, and the results are hauntingly poetic and totally organic in terms of free verse style
The artist’s site-specific outcroppings feature portions of verses that appear in varying locales throughout the city, creating a treasure hunt of green guerilla messaging. The poetic phrases which appear in ‘Mossenger’ and ‘Sporeborne’ appear in four separate installments and zones. Eleanor Stevens, Anna’s good friend, is the poet behind the message.
Part Andy Goldsworthy, part Barbara Kruger, we love these urban interventions not only for their greening power but also for the difference that one individual can make along the path of our daily excursions and city routes. Even better, Anna Garforth works as a designer and illustrator greening the pages of publications such as The Ecologist as well as many a website in an effort to reseed our views on typography as an agent of change.