This week Saype is painting the latest installment of his project “Beyond Walls” in Ouidah, Benin, and the location is tragic because of its history.
“The ‘Beyond Walls’ project aims at creating the largest symbolic human chain around the world, promoting values such as togetherness, kindness and openness to the world,” say organizers of this project that has its tenth stop in this historic site of the tragic slave trade. With five frescoes in total, he painted four of them in the floating village of Ganvie, which was at one time a refuge from slave capture raids.
Additionally his is painting a fifth fresco by the ocean in the village of Abouta) in the Ouidah district, he says, “the beach that saw millions of slaves sent off across the Atlantic.”
This is the 10th step of the project for the land artist Saype. He says that after nearly two years he has visited 3 continents and 37 people have helped paint 77,300 square meters with biodegradable paint.
Three frescoes in Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa are the latest installments of hands and arms joined with one another for the French large-scale land artist Saype.
The pieces are created in Sea Point (6000 m²), the Philippi township (800 m²) and the Langa township (800 m²) and together represent the 9th stop on his worldwide “Beyond Walls” project.
Given the crises that the world is experiencing with the Covid-19 pandemic and the historic divisions in South Africa, Saype says he chose to present a fraternal vision in these three neighborhoods of Cape Town.
Project organizers say “The current crisis reinforces Saype’s optimistic will to present these universal frescos of benevolence and togetherness,” even though he knows that it may represent, “a modest contribution to reunite a city whose historic scars have not yet healed.” Recognizing that the society is still striving to recover from the dark time of apartheid, here is an artist who is using his talents to help heal wounds.
Just finished on January 21, organizers say that the three frescoes were created using approximately 1000 liters of biodegradable pigments made out of charcoal, chalk, water and milk proteins.
This project is carried out in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, the International Public Art Festival, Baz-Art and the City of Cape Town.
The French-Swiss land artist Saype
is starting his 30s with a grand idea of hands joined across the earth.
“I think that we are in a moment of
humanity when the world is becoming polarized and part of the population is
choosing to withdraw into itself,” he says. So symbolically he is spraying
massive patches of grass with images of hands joined in cities across the world
– including Paris, Andorre, Geneva, Berlin, Ouagadougou, Yamoussoukro, and
Today we take you to his latest
installation of three clasped hands in Istanbul, particularly symbolic because
it is at the precipice of so-called East and West. He says that since he would
like his monumental works to be bridges painted between cultures, the city of
Istanbul constitutes an essential stage, at the crossroads of the worlds between
the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
“Istanbul is really on two
continents between Europe and Asia,” he says, “and it’s amazing because we’re
going to be able to connect the two here. We made three frescoes; a fresco on
the European side, a floating barge covered with grass that will cross the
Bosphorus, and a fresco on the Asian continent in Beykoz.”
frescoes were created using biodegradable pigments and included one artwork at Bogazici
University (2500 m2) on the European side of the country, a second
one was created in the Beykoz district (1600 m2) on the Asian side
and the two of them were linked by an artwork painted on a floating barge in
the Golden Horn of the Bosphorus (2200 m2). Valentin Flauraud stood
in for Saype at the barge.
carried out in Istanbul was benefitted by support from the Istanbul
Metropolitan Municipality, Kültür A.Ş, the Municipality of Beşiktaş, the
Boğaziçi University, the Consulate General of Switzerland, the French Institute
in Turkey and UPS.
“I am convinced that it is only
together that humanity will be able to respond to the biggest challenges it
will have to overcome them.”