French artist uses nature to spread message of unity on Montreal mountainside – Montreal | Canadian

Urban art lovers are in for a treat as the Montreal MURAL Festival is back for another edition.

While it officially kicks off on June 8, one artist’s unique creation was unveiled on Monday on the grassy slopes of Mount Royal — literally.

Saype, as the 34-year-old French artist is known, creates giant murals using nature as his canvas be it, grass, sand or even snow.

“So that creates ephemeral artwork that will disappear with time,” Saype said.

“I try to impact society without impacting nature.”

Saype used ecofriendly paints made from natural pigments derived from chalk and charcoal to spray his design onto the grass on the mountain.

His design, showing interlocking arms, can be admired from the northwest corner of Mont-Royal and Parc avenues — at least for now.

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While it took one week to execute the painting, Saype expects it will only take two weeks for it to fade away completely.

Already, he says, the grass and flowers are growing through. But that doesn’t bother him.

“I love that,” SAYPE said, explaining it shows nature taking her rightful place and erasing the marks he’s left behind.

The painting, is part of a larger project called Beyond Walls in which Saype is attempting to create the world’s largest human chain.

The idea came to Saype after viewing a documentary on then-U.S. president Donald Trump’s expansion plans and budget for the border wall between Mexico and the United States.

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Saype said he was troubled by how much money was being set aside for the sole purpose of separating people.

“It makes no sense to separate people,” he said. “The only way to create a bright future is to work together.”

The first set of interlaced hands as part of the human chain were painted in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 2019.

Saype has since travelled to several other cities across the world including Rio De Janeiro, Berlin, Istanbul, Geneva and Ougadougou, to name a few, as he spreads his message of hope and unity through art.

“I deeply trust that art can move a line in society,” SAYPE said.

The artist believes people need  to work together to create a world that is less divided and less polarized.

Montreal is Saype’s 19th stop on the Border Walls tour and his first in North America.

More information about featured artists and festival programming is available on the  the MURAL website.

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