Anna Garforth – Urban Land Artist

Moss Typography: Anna Garforth

We have been long-time fans of the work of the artist Anna Garforth, she experiments with all kinds of outdoor materials in different installations. Based in London, her creations have appeared on walls as far afield as Hong Kong, Anna has worked with different projects we have featured here on the blog including the Chelsea Physic Garden and the Monkey Shoulder whiskey launch. She is famed for her moss graffiti, whereby she uses moss for typography.We were thrilled when Anna joined us for a question and answer session:

The environment is very present in many of your works, especially for the materials you choose to use. When and how did this idea come to you? Have you always been really concerned about the environment, even before producing art?

Nature has always been a staple in my life, I grew up surrounded by forests and spent many of my childhood years building stuff out of what I found around me,this has stuck with me, and it is where I feel most at home, combining plants with art and being outside. Ironically, working with living materials within the city was inspired by a trip to an old Victorian cemetery. I am fascinated by the beautiful script and moss that covers the grave stones, one stone had moss growing inside the carved out letters and it looked amazing. I collected moss from the surrounding gravestones and started to experiment, moss typography was born!

The Edible Poster, Anna Garforth

What made you decide to focus your art on the relationship between the city, or urban life, and nature?

Becoming aware of the coexistence of city and nature inspired my creativity. I find the contrast between urban and nature so beautiful, and the process of working with the wild in the city has taken me to some wonderful wildernesses around London. I enjoy seeing nature juxtaposed against cityscape in unexpected ways.

In your most environmental – related works, such as your typographies made of moss, are you using the art as a medium to appeal to people’s conscience on environmental and sustainability issues, or the environment is just the medium to communicate your ideas?

An environmental message is often communicated as a result of my appreciation for the natural world, and a wish to explore it through my work. I think rather than high lighting environmental issues my work is more about celebrating all the mini ecosystems that thrive around us, if we take a moment to notice them I think nature can be found unfurling all around our busy feet.

The Big Bang at The Russian Club, Anna Garforth

Many people on the Internet label you as an environmental artist; are you comfortable with that, or your interest in ecology is just a part of your art?

I am fine with being called an environmental artist as I believe the environment is an integral part to the development of my work. However I would take the term in a lighter sense as I have never claimed to be an environmentalist. A lot of my work explores our natural environment and holds an ecological message to nurture, enjoy and notice nature in the cityscape. I feel very inspired when I see the force of nature take over abandoned buildings or finding ways to permeate through the concrete. My work aims to reflect the textured world we live in where many different species, plants, and manmade elements coexist.

See examples of Anna’s work on her website here

My work aims to communicate the abundance and beauty of nature in our city as opposed to the lack of. Maybe if people become more aware of the mini wildernesses living with us side by side they will take more care to preserve them.