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Graffiti artist captures lightness of clouds to lift spirits

A Franco-Swiss graffiti artist’s monumental project on top of a Swiss mountain aims to encourage a more contemplative approach to life by inspiring childlike wonder at clouds drifting by.

The 1,500 square metre painting Un nouveau souffle (A New Lease on Life) by Saype graces the summit of the Moléson, overlooking the region of Gruyères in canton Fribourg.

Using biodegradable paints made from natural pigments such as coal and chalk, the artist depicts a little boy blowing bubbles in an area known for its clouds, seeking to reflect the link with children’s skygazing, Saype told Reuters.

“I think we’re in a world that is super heavy and we need a little lightness, and I believe that the clouds are also a bit of a dream, the imagination,” he said.

“When we were kids we were always imagining shapes in the clouds. And I believe that now is also a moment we must breathe and – also with lightness – relearn to create by reverie the world of tomorrow.”

Known for massive works of graffiti on grass best seen from the air, Saype has also adorned sites ranging from an impoverished shantytown in South Africa to the lawn in front of the United Nations’ European headquarters in Geneva.