Tamara Grčić

46 Colours

Opening: 2014/2018

The Institute for Art in Public Space invited Tamara Grčić to develop an art project for the city of Graz and Styria Province. Her project consisted of three parts and had been on show in three different places: at the Natural History Museum (Joanneum District, Graz), on a tuff rock face of volcanic origin near Klöch in south-east Styria, and in urban space in Graz.

Tuff rock face near Klöch, south-east Styria - permanent since 2018


One part of this art project is on show in south-east Styria, a geologically fascinating region of volcanic origin. On a local tuff rock face that formed in the last volcanic phase some two million years ago, the artist has created an installation of hand-made glass spheres that is as thoughtful as it is meticulous. The coloured sculptures shimmer faintly or shine in the sunlight for brief moments. For minutes on end, portions of the wall are coloured in the red, blue, yellow, brown, white or green of the forty-six hues. The poetry of words gives rise to a new ephemeral play of colours in the unspoilt Zara Woods near Klöch. Visitors are requested to treat this unique landscape with due respect.

Natural History Museum, Joanneum District (mineralogy collection) - temporary in 2014


Grčić deals with the link between language and geology on the basis of the historical mineralogical collection of the Joanneum Universal Museum. Thanks to its expertise in natural science and technology, the Joanneum quickly achieved the reputation of an outstanding educational and research facility following its foundation in 1811. The mineral collection was its centrepiece, classified and exhibited in two adjacent rooms with splendid cabinet showcases. In one of the vitrines the minerals are arranged by colour. At the beginning of the 19th century, the mineralogist A. G. Werner described crystalline rock samples based on his observation, describing them with the aid of Research for the project was assisted by Dr. Ingomar Fritz (earth scientist, UMJ), Dr. Bernd Moser (mineralogist, UMJ), Dr. Peter Sackl (zoologist and ornithologist, UMJ), Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Prinzhorn (linguist, Vienna University), Dr. habil. Manfred Glauninger (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), the Municipality of colour names. Today they are of historical importance. The artist picked up on his classification of stones, translating it into spoken language. This first part of her work was screened as a video film at the Natural History Museum.


Urban space in Graz - temporary in 2014


The third part of the art project returned to urban, public space in Graz. In collaboration with staff at the BORG School, the "Modellschule", and the Free Waldorf School, Tamara Grčić presented the project to classes. The young people were asked to write the forty-six colour terms from the mineral collection in chalk on walls or roads at different public sites of their choosing over time. They were each given a little booklet with the forty-six colours and chalk. In the course of time, the colour terms spread around urban space in Graz, only to vanish again, with the students recording them in photographs. 

-Dirk Möllmann



Art in Public Space

Marienplatz 1/1
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9265



at Jodlschuster Weg in Klöchberg,
8493 Klöch
46°45'55.0"N 15°56'53.0"E


Follow Landstraße L259, Klöchberg, as far as the junction Finsterl Weg. Car park at Buschenschank Palz. Follow the road on foot until you reach the junction Jodlschuster Weg. Follow this path into the forest until you reach a junction on the right, just before a small bridge. Follow the forest path uphill to the tuff rock wall. 

Nature reserve: Please treat nature with respect.