Pasture painting and water colour 1

Pasture Paintings – a form of pollen hotel

Over the past couple of weeks you may have noticed patches of dead (brown) grass in geometric shapes; circles, triangles, and lines on road-side berms across the Waitemata. These shapes are being seeded in pasture plants that will grow over the coming months and provide food for the bees in Victoria Park. A form of pollen hotel, these Pasture Paintings have been designed and implemented by Auckland based artists Taarati Taiaroa, Sarah Smuts Kennedy and Richard Orjis.

The design of the pasture paintings have been developed in pairs. The image in this post shows the Curran Street site (left) and St Marks Road site (right). The watercolour (middle) is our preliminary design of the relationship of form between the two sites which are at opposite ends of the Waitemata area.

The lines of the Pasture Painting #1 at the Curran Street site (alongside the harbour bridge and the Northern Motorway) follow the true northern and western axes, and the Pasture Painting #2 on St Marks Road (alongside the Southern Motorway in Newmarket) follow the true southern and eastern axes. While, separately these shapes suggest an arrow head pointing back to the centre of The Park (the beehives) both forms reflect each other across space. Situated on the edges of the Waitemata area these axis forms reference a compass drawn in the corner of a map.

We will be posting the process and progress of all six Pasture Paintings as they grow over the following months.

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Some of our favourite pasture plants

As well as producing food for bees and other insects these pasture plants help the soil become a fertile and drought resistant space. The more complex a green space is the more biodiversity it can support, the more minerals it produces, the more water it holds and the more dynamic it is. So plant as many varieties as you can.

Clover- fixes nitrogen, and produces food for bees. Lupins- fixes nitrogen and produces food for bees. Chicory- has roots that mine deep down into the ground for minerals and produces food for bees. Mustard- fixes nitrogen, gets rid of wireworm which eat potatoes and produces food for bees. Lucerne-fixes nitrogen and produces food for bees. Forage Peas -fixes nitrogen and produces food for bees. Vetch -fixes nitrogen and produces food for bees. Phacelia- produces food for bees.

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Pasture Paintings #3 and #4 connect across space

The shape of Pasture Paintings #3 on Gladstone Road, Parnell was informed by the boundary of the space. We wanted to make a form that pointed back into the middle of The Park and so we chose to construct a triangle. The base line sits on the North/South Axis. The top corner points North and the arrow head of the triangle points towards the bee hives in a Western direction.

Pasture Painting #4 is located on Motions Road between Tapac and the Auckland Zoo in Western Springs. #4 was like the previous Pasture Paintings site-responsive. The pole across the tram track was used as a central point to project two lines 66 degrees apart. Their open form is designed catch and reflect the point of Pasture Painting #3 in the East.

Both sites have been seeded in yellow flowered pasture plants; mustard, dandelion and lupins, which will grow to different heights and flower at different times.

To find out more about Pasture Paintings click on the Topics tab down the bottom of this page and select Pasture Paintings.