Cornelia Genschow

Collection Southern Rhineland

The family of grasses undoubtedly ranks among the most fascinating and multifarious representatives of plant life. Inconspicuously and ubiquitously they colonize our globe, whether as pioneer plants in the most inhospitable places, whether as lush lawn in temperate zones. True grasses, sedges and rushes constitute a gene pool of roughly ten thousand species worldwide. In contrast to this omnipresence a fatal lack of knowledge and awareness of the enormous cultural-anthropological significance of grasses stands out starkly. Who is really aware of the fact that the cultivation, selective breeding and outcrossing of grasses to crop and cereals, ever more refined over thousands of years, is the basic food resource of human as well as animal life?

Equally significant is the aesthetic dimension of grasses. Their architectural quality is virtually matchless. A delicate composite construction of highly elastic and solid cellular structures enables a leaf of grass to carry a seed head many times heavier in comparison to its height and fabric and to keep it upright against all odds. On closer examination the seed heads themselves prove to be a miracle of form and color. The apparently uniform green mass comprises a multifariousness of individual beauty. We can only marvel at the overwhelming sensuality of individual grass flowers, at the fascinating nuances of greens in a swaying sea of grass. Here is glistening truth and the mind opens up to sensual awareness. All this and much more yield enough material for more than just one artist’s biography.

“I collect grasses and process them in several steps to graffiti on walls in the spatial context of the original grass habitat. Like icons these murals of grasses represent the complex questioning of the relation between human being, nature and culture.”