NauenThen

Grass & Essig

December 19, 2014

Tags: Matilda Essig

Having grown up in eastern South Dakota, I feel a love & affinity for the native plants of the prairie, most of which are some type of grass. It's difficult to get folks from elsewhere to appreciate how beautiful, various, & subtle grasses can be. But not obvious: you can spend a long time imagining that the prairie is monochromatic, but if you keep looking, all the variety and color suddenly jumps. We had lawns, sure, but we also had wild mixes of grama, bluestem, clover, pasque (the state flower), and many others that I didn't (& don't) know the name of.

I feel such hope today, because the brilliant & patient artist & Philadelphia native Matilda Essig (an old friend I recently reconnected with) does get it. She's restoring 5 acres of damaged grasslands in Arizona, and her art these days is intense closeups of grass: big enough that even the impatient can see. I've been reading & rereading a piece she wrote (link is in photo caption). (more…)