A poya is colourful representation in a naïve folk style of the annual migration of cattle from the valleys to the high alpine pastures for the summer. A poya is traditionally painted on wood. It is a typically Swiss tradition, and there are many to be found in our country.
That is why I decided in 2005 to paint a poya on the inner façade of the hotel - a very large poya, using all the available space. As this poya is too large to be painted all at once, it will be done as a series of murals that will then be assembled on the wall so as to form a single mural. The work will be 25 metres wide and will extend all the way up the seven floors of the hotel, so that it will also be 25 metres high. This is to be the largest poya in the world and so will naturally be mentioned in the Guiness Book of Records.
http://poya2000.ch/ website on poyas
The artist I commissioned to paint this gigantic work is DeLaPerouze, a self-taught Swiss sculptor and painter born in 1964. Among its works of art the hotel already owned one of his works - the Tetra-poya. He and his wife Sarah H, who is also a sculptress, have two children who are both musicians, the elder a pianist and the younger a violinist. The family lives in Yverdon les Bains in Vaud canton in Switzerland.
DeLaPerouze's works show his love of Swiss rural culture, and his paintings and sculpture feature cows, pigs and other farmyard animals. These works though are very contemporary and innovative; all his painting is done with an airbrush instead of artist's paintbrushes, and the figures and décor are represented abstractly using geometric shapes such as spheres, cones, cylinders and cubes.
He sculpts cows to look like present-day society's attitude towards them as being just walking horned milk cartons. He likes to play with geometric shapes in his sculptures, and especially in his painting, In which cows, calves, pigs and other animals are represented as cubes or as rolling spheres.
The opening of the work is to take place on 6 September 2006. The fun will begin with a precession of Mr. Cevalley's cows from Loëx from. Music will be provided by people swinging large cow-bells and a chorus of booming alpine horns. We are also looking forward to the participation of the association of Bernese herdsmen from Pregny-Chambesy.
The wines served will be from our local Geneva vineyards will have a well-deserved reputation. The food will be prepared by Yvan Thurler, owner and chef of "L'entrecôte Couronnée", a famous restaurant In Geneva's Paquis district; Mr. Thurler is also a former captain of the Swiss cooking team and a federal judge of Swiss wrestling.
There will also be a remarkable exhibition of poyas belonging to Gruyère Museum. This is the first time that the museum has loaned any objects in its collection to other than a museum.
Mr. Marc Müller, State councillor for the canton and for Geneva Republic and I will have the pleasure of making a speech on this very special day.
The indoor façade in January, before work began:
August: painting has begun. The artist suffered burns to the cornea of his eye because of the glare of sunlight reflected by the white wall. Fortunately the injury was not too bad, and DeLaPerouze was able to resume work after a few days' rest.
September: the work is progressing nicely, the tetra-cows are outlined and painted. The painting is reaching the first upper stories, and is really taking shape!
The poya is finished and was opened in October. Everything went perfectly..