The Swiss-based French graffiti artist Saype’s worldwide ‘Beyond Walls’ Project is extending its symbolic human links to Northern Ireland. The gigantic, bio-degradable lawn fresco of intertwined hands is displayed at the Stormont Estate from 14 June 2022. The project is supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in the UK in close co-operation with the Belfast Photo Festival, which takes place from 2-30 June 2022.
The hands of people from Belfast are the photographic base of the artworks, advocating solidarity, dialogue and friendship beyond geographical and societal constraints around the world. Belfast joined some 30 cities across five continents who have participated in the large-scale art installation, with previous iterations appearing in Ouagadougou, Paris, Geneva, Dubai and many other locations.
Michael Weir, Director of the Belfast Photo Festival, says: “Saype’s artworks are best perceived by drone, a lens in the sky, opening up questions about how we access an art piece, even when the vantage point is out of our physical reach. Due to the fleeting lifespan of his art, photography is an integral part of the process, capturing the tangible presence and preserving its message for people to enjoy, even when the physical piece has long disappeared.”
Saype is renowned as a pioneer of an artistic movement linking street art and land art. His approachand innovative technique earned him global recognition as his poetic and ephemeral works travel around the world to impact minds and spark conscious dialogue. He is committed to eco-friendly methods in his art: “One of my aims is to not only shed light on issues of social transformation but to promote eco-friendly and sustainable methods of creating art through respecting nature.”
Swiss Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Markus Leitner, says: “Saype’s message of global connectivity and sustainability is part of a number of activities we are organizing and supporting in the context of the Embassy’s #WeAreSwitzerland tour of the United Kingdom. Through this initiative we will connect with Swiss citizens, companies, artists and researchers in the UK and forge new synergies with our local partners in politics, science, business and culture across all nations of the United Kingdom throughout the month of June.”
The artwork is extended over an area of 45 by 240 meters. Created using biodegradable pigments made of charcoal and chalk, the artwork will fade away with the growth of the grass.
The gigantic artwork is part of the Belfast Photo Festival (2-30 June 2022) with support by the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom.