This latest commission is the brand’s first artistic-philanthropic initiative in its ongoing aim to preserve swiss nature
The luxury skincare house has commissioned Swiss artist Douglas Mandry to produce a series of images of Swiss landscapes that highlights the beauty of Swiss nature and its inherent fragility.
A FUSION OF NATURE AND CULTURE
In his award-winning work, Douglas Mandry – a graduate from Lausanne’s ECAL University of Design and Art School – examines the aspects unique to photography as a mechanical recording of reality in order to question the relationship with memory, technology and nature in the context of a world changed by humankind’s presence. Experimenting with both traditional photographic techniques and pioneering new processes, he uses the medium as a raw material, stretches it, reworks it to go beyond the qualities of the original photograph. By manipulating his photographs in this way and combining them with non-photographic elements, he creates a new typology of objects that rests somewhere between two- and three-dimensionality.
A SWISS COLLABORATION
For the collaboration with La Prairie, Douglas Mandry travelled throughout Switzerland to capture the wild environment and impressive landscapes of his homeland. “After hours of walking, sometimes I just happen to be at a place which strikes me. Capturing this nature is for me a testimony of its sublime essence. Afterwards, I try to re-appropriate this untouched and unspoiled environment and make it my own. So, the whole process is about merging my experience of nature with my cultural background,” explained Mandry.
Shooting over several days in various seminal Swiss locations, the artist sought to express the dichotomy of the ways in which nature and its representation can be interpreted. Indeed, the artist’s own experience of the natural landscape in which he shot is then transformed as he executes a variety of artificial processes on the resulting photographs. “When I look at a landscape, I automatically start to simplify shapes and curves that I see. Once I capture this space or this specific piece of nature, I work with it, always transforming it and keeping in mind the abstract or simplified image that I have of this piece of nature in my mind. This is the starting point for the work I do with photographs,” added Mandry. From the first, raw images to the final results after altering them through painting and airbrushing techniques, they illustrate the passage of time and the many ways in which it can be experienced in a single subject. The series of images invites the viewer on a non-linear narrative through Swiss nature, journeying somewhere between dream and reality.
FROM PURSUIT TO PURPOSE
With this new venture, La Prairie proudly continues to collaborate with Swiss artists. Douglas Mandry’s inspiring tribute to Swiss nature speaks to La Prairie’s own tireless pursuit of timeless beauty. A pursuit that has become a purpose, for the luxury House who supports initiatives promoting culture and science through the prism of Switzerland as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
“Contemporary Art is the prism through which we express our heritage and values and allows us to enrich our own story. As part of our ongoing relationship with art, we engage in creative dialogues with artists who bring their own perspective and artistic vocabulary to our brand. Indeed, artists are our storytellers,” said Greg Prodromides, Chief Marketing Officer of La Prairie Group. “With this new initiative, we are extremely proud to be able – for the first time – to fuse our artistic engagement with our purpose as a Swiss luxury brand, committed to preserving the nature of our House’s origins,” he added.
FROM SWITZERLAND TO THE WORLD
La Prairie pursues its commitment to respect, preserve and give back to its inexhaustible source of inspiration – the singular beauty of Switzerland. To that end, three unique works, the striking result of La Prairie’s collaboration with Douglas Mandry will be auctioned online on Artnet Auctions from November 4-18, 2020. The proceeds of the sales will be donated as part of the brand’s ongoing support for ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) through its ETH Foundation.
A commitment to the greater good that the luxury house shares with Douglas Mandry: “I like that art has become a means to protect nature and to create awareness. Since nature is my main inspiration, it is a beautiful thing to be able to give back. I felt very much connected to this idea from La Prairie to give something back to nature. Through this donation, La Prairie and I share a wish to contribute to the preservation of Swiss nature.”
La Prairie identified the ETH Foundation, which promotes research and teaching at ETH Zurich as the most apt recipient for this important contribution. ETH’s Department of Glaciology is internationally recognised in the field of glacier studies and a nominee of numerous scientific awards and honours for outstanding contributions to the field of glaciology. Their pioneering work in the field of climate studies, glaciology and environmental conservation is shared with La Prairie’s overarching commitment to protecting and preserving its land of origin.