Art on the Borders

This was going to be a Friday Fun post, but with time running out and still so many gorgeous pictures to share with you, I will keep my words shorter and my images brighter. To hide the tears in my eyes.

Every few years there is a great initiative of ‘art en campagne’ (art in the countryside) on the Franco-Swiss border. You can take in the artworks during the summer months, while you take a walk through the orchards and forests of Collex-Bossy and Ornex.

This felt like being transported into the rainforest...
This felt like being transported into the rainforest…
Using nature to make art...
Using nature to make art…
A butterfly or a ghost?
A butterfly or a ghost?
Fish heads or mushrooms?
Fish heads or mushrooms?

This year’s theme was ‘Les passerelles de l’espoir’ – Bridges of Hope – and of course many artists interpreted that as something to do with borders and welcoming people (or not). Even more eloquent when these artworks are constructed on borders which were once upon a time terribly fought over…

'What Bridge?' says this metal guide erected at the precise border in the woods, a commentary on 'Fortress Europe' says the artist.
‘What Bridges?’ says the notice on this metal gate erected at the precise border in the woods, a commentary on ‘Fortress Europe’ according to the artist.
Can we see the humans behind the barbed wire?
Can we see the humans behind the barbed wire?
What do refugee families look like?
What do refugee families look like?
Old border signs riddled with bullets are a chilling reminder...
Old border signs riddled with bullets are a chilling reminder…
Can we build bridges?
Can we build bridges?
This isn't art: it's the old borderstone, overgrown by weeds. Long may it lie forgotten!
This isn’t art: it’s the old borderstone, overgrown by weeds. Long may it lie forgotten!

 

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12 thoughts on “Art on the Borders”

  1. First thing that came to my mind. Beautiful, inspiring. Second: Impossible here in Belgium, wouldn’t take days and everything would be full of waste (beer cans, cigarette packs, etc.). On one of my running courses you can even see an official sack of waste lying in a trench 50 centimeters from the pedestrian, bicycle way. Art won’t stay a week before it would become a garbage dump

    1. We went on a weekday and it was surprisingly deserted, but at the weekend you might see quite a lot of families out for their Sunday walk. I suspect there are places along the side of roads where people do fly-tipping and all that (and I’ve seen some other forest paths which were full of rubbish), but fortunately this has stayed pristine.

    1. It’s a real challenge, though, for the artists, to make something durable enough to withstand the frequent summer thunderstorms, the bleaching by the sun, people passing etc. In my Friday post I’ll show you the knitting art of Ferney-Voltaire, but I think that one might suffer in bad weather…

  2. Oh, I wish these artists would come and do something similar on the Scotland-England border to remind us of what we’re heading towards losing, if we’re not careful…

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