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01 December 2010 —
01 December 2011

Richard Orjis:
Grass Circle

Richard Orjis, Grass Circle, March 2011. Kaihui grass, concrete. Courtesy of Melanie Roger Gallery. Photo by Sam Hartnett


The first major public sculpture by Auckland artist Richard Orjis. The work features a perfect ring of concrete inserted flush with the ground. Orjis has instructed the groundskeepers to allow the grass within this circle to grow completely untended for a period of one year. This has allowed the grass an opportunity of untamed wild growth that appears in stark contrast with the highly manicured surrounds.

Looking back

‘Grass Circle consisted of a 7-metre circle of grass that was left to grow for a year on the Te Tuhi grounds and was one of my first environmental artworks. It was a countering movement to the language of the normative suburbia lawn, the grazed paddock and the competitive terrain of the sports field. Here the minimal intervention venerated rewilding, queering, (bio)diversity, the-more-than-human, ecological cycles, softness and passivity.

‘Amusingly the work was unwittingly destroyed twice by local landscape maintenance companies. And both were not even contracted to look after the area. The incidents evidenced a shared sense of building community, and 'duty of care' on the one hand, and on the other, an unconscious policing of norms and dominant aesthetic regimes.’

– Richard Orjis, 2020


Mowing blunder destroys grass art – Stuff