Art Saype’s tribute to nature at the foot of Mont Blanc
Artland art

Saype’s tribute to nature at the foot of Mont Blanc

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Giulia Guido

After witnessing his work in the warm Kenya, the land artist Saype returned to his natural habitat, the mountains, and he did so in a carefully chosen location. Through a collaboration with Skyway Monte Bianco, the Swiss artist left his mark in the alpine pastures overlooking the cable car’s intermediate station, the Pavillon.

Two enormous female figures seen from their backs, one younger and the other older, interact with the surrounding landscape, pointing upwards towards the summit of Mont Blanc, or perhaps beyond. “The artwork is called Une Grande Dame,” Saype explains, “and the two figures do not have a specific interpretation. They can represent a grandmother and a child, or nature itself, or both. It is a tribute to the grandeur and beauty of the mountains.

Visible even from the rotating cable car cabin, this specific location was chosen by Saype because “Mont Blanc is known worldwide and perfectly aligns with the meaning of the artwork. It also aligns with the philosophy of Skyway, which is particularly mindful of the environmental impact from various perspectives.

A quick glance or a few steps towards the artwork through the meadow and rocks is enough to understand the scale of the undertaking, which presented the artist with two specific challenges. “On one hand, there was the steepness of the terrain, particularly rugged. On the other hand, I had to work without moving anything, without removing any shrubs or rocks.

The artwork, through its subject, aims to be both a warning sign and a symbol of hope. In the mountains, like nowhere else, one can see how fragile nature is, just think of the glaciers that disappear in a single season: the snowy peaks that the older woman remembers are no longer there. However, by entrusting the memories that the mountain holds to the new generations, perhaps not everything is lost.

Une Grande Dame will be visible throughout the month of July. Then, like all of Saype’s artworks, it will gradually fade and be erased by the growth of grass. The artist allows nature to take its course, without any regrets: “It is precisely the fact that they don’t last long that makes the concepts of my artworks stronger. It’s as if they remain much longer in memory.

Photo by Paola Mangiarotti, Skyway Monte Bianco

Artland art
Written by Giulia Guido
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