Lawn, National Contemporary Art Award

Waikato Museum and Art Gallery — 2006

Before installation of Lawn (Greener on the Other Side) in the National Contemporary Art Award exhibition, the Waikato Museum requested that the work be doused with pesticide – effectively killing it, to prevent insects migrating and invading important historic works.  With the assurance that worms  and grass insects prefer a warm ecosystem over a dry alternative, Lawn was hung alive in the exhibition, along with gallery pheromone devices for the 10 week show.  Trimmed and watered daily by gallery staff following a schedule of instructions, the grass grew upwards and went dormant inside the cool dark gallery.  In subsequent years the rules of entry for the Art Awards specifically excluded living art.