ART SEEN - Towering sculptures and irises in bloom at the Château de Vullierens
What: Art in the Open Air
Where: Jardins des Iris, Château de Vuillerens above Morges
When: Until June 18, 2017
Opening Times: Every day from 09:00 - 18:00
Entry Fee: Adults: CHF 15 | Children aged 12-16: CHF 5 | <11 yrs free
On Mondays: buy one, get 1 free
A Garden of Sculptures
If you have not been to this year's Iris Gardens at the Château de Vuillerens, you are missing the probably most beautiful summer exhibition of the year.
Discover more than 50 sculptures designed by Swiss and international artists in the environment of the magnificent vast properties of the Château de Vuillerens, giving visitors and monumental sculptures enough 'air to breathe'. The fascinating contrast between structured and elaborate gardens and the natural, practically untouched woods, as well as the panoramic views of the Alps, create a perfect and dramatic backdrop.
The art of gardening, under the direction of garden architect John Ruttledge, blends in harmony with the sculptural masterpieces. If you are lucky, you will meet Ruttledge on the grounds and he will charmingly answer any questions you might have. (Look out for a tall gentleman with a hat.)
If you've been, but some years ago, you'll find that there are many new features to discover, like the peaceful secret garden, the rose walk or the metamorphosis of the café, which laudably got rid of plastic furniture and has had a lovely makeover.
The sculptures in the gardens come in all shapes and sizes and in a huge variety of different materials like stone, wood, rusted or by contrast stainless steel.
There are for example the elongated dark figures in oak, by French artist Christian Lapie, that look different from every angle, and seem to change posture and the story they tell. Silent and powerful, they tower over the grounds like sentinels.
Spanish artist Manuel Torres created a stainless steel 'meeting place' with a low table and two throne-like chairs overlooking the grandiose panorama, while Swiss artist Mireille Fulpius constructed a land art labyrinth out of wooden sticks.
Internationally famous Beverly Pepper, the only woman to have exhibited at the side of legends such as Henry Moore or Alexander Calder, is still actively designing at the age of over 90. Discover her 5 m high 2010 masterpiece 'My Twist' in the gardens.
Swiss artist Etienne Krähenbühl's Bing Bang includes 1600 metal pieces, suspended in a spherical shape, that could just as well symbolise a planet or an atom, seen under a microscope. Although originally designed to be free hanging pieces, they are currently held in place by a metal band (probably to protect against entanglement from the wind). Leave it to the imagination then to see them hang free, moving ever so slightly in a light breeze, making the masterpiece come alive, the pieces faintly touching, resounding, the sphere dilating ever so slightly, vibrating and waiting for the energy that will make the Big Bang happen.
In his sculpture 'Endless', German artist Werner Pokorny plays with the contrast between simplicity and complexity, using one of his preferred inspirations, the form of a roofed house.
Swiss Artist Urs.P. Twellmann worked with ash tree and walnut trunks to create a monumental 'Ypsilon Ring', perched alongside the trees, looking ready to roll off into the landscape.
Continue your 'art in nature' tour into the unique magical atmosphere of the untouched forests on the grounds, where especially the young visitors (but not exclusively), will be excited to discover its secret inhabitants, a people of wood elves, created by artist Sara.H in collaboration with DeLaPerouze.
Round up the visit in the interior gallery of the castle, this year showing a collective exhibition curated by the CACY (Centre d'art contemporain d'Yverdon-les-Bains), showing the works of 27 artists under the name 'Jeunes Pousses'.
The Café des Jardins also does brunches. Not only for those but for all meals, make sure to reserve a table (+41 (079)844 68 60)
In September 2017, the gardens will be celebrating the Indian Summer in autumnal splendour and with pumpkins, now starting to grow on the grounds.