No more grass is growing

The CHIO, lawnmowers and art(ificial)

It is doubtful whether the visitors will notice that they are walking on art(ificial) grass. When tens of thousands of people traipse through the meadows of the Soers on Saturday, July 12th, during the SAP Cup, the eventing cross-country competition, they will be marching over Aachen’s biggest piece of art. Spanning 50 x 50 metres, Martin Stockberg created this masterpiece with a lawnmower.

Vorbereitung der Wiese.

However, before the lawnmowers come into play, real power was called for: A tractor belonging to our partner Fendt equipped with an impressive mowing unit was used to prepare parts of the fields. Then, Martin Stockberg and his friend André Kessel were able to set to work. They trekked around 18 kilometres to mow the exceptional motif in the meadows of the Soers right next to the Main Stadium of the CHIO Aachen: The logo of the CHIO with an artistic mane flowing out of it, which meanders into the lettering #chioaachen. Since it was only possible to pre-mow parts of the fields, this proved to be an arduous task. “In some cases, we had to go over the same stretch five times,” explained Martin Stockberg, with temperatures of over 30 degrees not exactly a walk in the park. Stockberg already came up with the idea last spring, he practised at home in his garden, regardless of the sceptical glances of his neighbours. Whereby the latter should have gradually got used to the strange art of the graduate designer and photographer. He has already raked huge motifs into beaches, carved patterns in forests or stamped them into winter sceneries with snowshoes. All of them in XXL format.

Now, he turned his attentions to the fields of the Soers. First of all, several reference points were measured, a few stakes were knocked into the ground, the rest? Feeling. Rhythm. Concentration. A particular challenge: Unlike in the snow or on the flat, sandy beach, in the high grass one can hardly recognise which parts have already been mowed or not. Now and again Stockberg used a drone to get an impression from above, but primarily his artistic mowing is based on his intuition. The two rather different gardeners took seven hours to complete their masterpiece.


Even more land art: Martin Stockberg on Instagram

The preparations.

The next project is already planned: In September he is going to rake patterns on the beach of Amrum together with stressed managers, the inquisitive and those seeking experiences. And should anyone own a golf course and would like to beautify the greenery with an artistic touch: Martin Stockberg will be glad to come to the aid with his lawnmower.

The clip to the art.