Concept -


Development of the sculpture park

The initial idea of the sculpture park emerged on the way back from an art journey in Spain (end of October 2006), where we had visited artist friends, members of the European sculpture network. We (Dorothea and Andrea Malär) were travelling through Burgundy and saw very beautiful stately homes, surrounded by parks stocked with old trees.

Once we were back at home, we looked for properties, old mills and mansions with suitably large grounds. After analysing many properties on offer, we decided in favour of the Château Sainte Marie in FR-70140 Malans, in the Haute Saône, adjacent to small river Ognon. The property had belonged to five German families in the last 18 years. Before that, it was owned for several generations by an aristocratic family, the last occupant being the Countess Anne de Costard - de Jouffroy d'Abbans, until 1986.

In January 2007, we signed the sales deed, completely renovated the castle section over a period of one and a half years, then proceeded to create the sculpture park, and staged an exhibition of works with monumental sculptures by Andrea Malär. The main park (park 1) was created between 2008 and 2010.

An expansion of the sculpture park (park 2), between the main park and the Ognon river, took place between 2010 and 2011. In 2012, the studio building was completely renovated and park 2 was redesigned, with new sculptures by Andrea Malär.

An expansion of the sculpture park (park 3) was started with artist friends (Christina Wendt, Martina Lauinger, Hilda Staub, Joseph Ginet, Markus Graf, Denis Perez) in the upper section of the main park (forest edge and forest), adjacent to park 1, and along the banks of the Ognon. This part of the park is to be completed in 2012, and in subsequent years will be supplemented with works by other artist friends.

Also in 2012, Arlette Maréchal, Denis Perez, Dorothea and Andrea Malär (they were also the initiators of 'Ile Art 2011') founded the 'Association Ile Art' and concluded an agreement with the municipality of Malans to start in 2013 with the work of creating the 'Ile Art' in the quarries and the forest behind the Castle grounds. The sculpture park will be gradually extended in subsequent years on municipal land, with works by other artist friends.

Vision and philosophy of the park The original idea of buying the Château Sainte Marie with the park was to create a place of calm and self-discovery, in which it would be possible to develop social, cultural and artistic themes and projects. The purpose of the park was to give all visitors the space to find calm, to escape from their hectic everyday life, and to absorb positive energy. It was also intended to provide a dignified setting for cultural events, and encourage children to play, to climb, and to run about. Even without reference to a modern, abstract, partly symbolic art, it was to give visitors the opportunity to simply enjoy the moment... maybe return to their daily routine with a few unanswered questions... and come back when they needed to.

Themes of the sculptures by Andrea Malär

An overarching theme is the positive energy that results from the polarities of multi-layered and living nature and the ordered, geometric regularities and possible variations of the sculptures and the philosophical ideas that influenced the creation of the sculptures. As with the ancient Greeks (Plato, Pythagoras, Socrates, around 500 B.C.), who still perceived geometry as an integral whole, with a mathematical side, complemented by a philosophical, symbolic side (physical and spiritual), so the geometric sculptures should be understood in the same way. Behind the visible geometric shapes is a philosophical or symbolic theme which ultimately gives the sculpture the energy. The spatial arrangement of the sculptures is not coincidental. There are arrangements that find their commonality in an equilateral triangle or in a circle, or which stand in a special relationship to the nature surrounding them.

Individual sculpture themes

Various sculptures can be grouped into a theme; they form sculpture families. Some of the themes are explained below, whereby each theme also contains a more profound symbolism and meaning:

Single polarity

Polarities are portrayed in many sculptures. We experience polarities or live with them; sometimes we curse them, sometimes we learn from them, they show us the extreme positions, the differences. Often, the One can only be recognised if the Other is known. They challenge us to find common ground, to see the whole, to seek a balance; if we succeed in this, we experience an inner contentedness.

Double polarity

Some sculpture families depict double polarities. In ourselves, and in contact with others, we experience the contrast of the four temperaments (choleric - phlegmatic, sanguine - melancholic); around us, we experience the polarities of the four elements (fire - water, air - earth); during the year, we experience the extremes of the four seasons (spring - autumn, summer - winter); on one day, we experience the contrasts of the four times of day (morning - evening, afternoon - night); in the landscape and in our world, we experience the polarities of the cardinal points (north - south, east - west). The sculpture of the four points of the compass (north - east - south - west) with the polarities of N and S as well as E and W contains quadratic letters which, if one imagines turning them by 90 degrees, one recognises as exactly identical. All four have the same volume, and are thus in balance. This sculpture symbolises a universe in balance, i.e. all peoples, all races, all religions, all continents live with each other in balance.

The right angle and the infinite right angle

Another sculpture family consists of right angles or of right angles without beginning and end, i.e. with infinite right angles. The right angle symbolises the law, sincerity, justice, human rights and natural law. Its infinite form symbolises perfection.

The square / variability

Most sculptures have square shapes; many of them have been cut or designed in 2 sections. The square has for corners, four right angles and for equal sides. When something is perfect, we speak of the quadrature. The two-part sculptures are all variable in their compositions. They are sculptures with very many variants, or variable compositions. If one fits the sculptures into each other as a square, ones can see the whole. They symbolise diversity in unity.

The word

The quadratic letters were used to portray the life energies on the planet square, or words such as HELP or HOPE represent these concepts.

The old planets

On the planet square, the seven old planets (Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus) are arranged in combination with trees, colours, words (which represent life energies), according to ancient philosophies. Each weekday is assigned to a planet, the days of the week contain the essence of the planet. Each weekday has its own qualities which are expressed with trees, colours and the special life energy.

The installations and sculptures by the artist friends

Seated on the sculpture HELP, four people discuss or consult (life-sized terracotta sculptures by Christina Wendt). What are they discussing? Perhaps they are talking about what wishes they have, what help they would like, or what hopes they want to put into the nearby wishing well, or how they could express their gratitude. A very life-like group of people; the visitor gets the feeling of experiencing the very lively discussion, thanks to the variety of gestures depicted.

Once arrived at the wishing well on the forest edge, the visitors are greeted with meditative sounds and rhythms that ring down from the Cocoons installed in the tree, a very touching, meditative sound installation by Denis Perez. The sounds are very calming. The mirror surface in the well reflects nature, and looking directly into the mirror in the well may give rise to thoughts of self-discovery that assist the formulation of wishes that are then passed to the wishing well.

After continuing to stroll a few metres into the forest, the visitor can sit down in the 'Chapelle Anne', in the Platonic vessel IKOSAEDER by Andrea Malär, for a meditation, or find inner peace with their own, improvised sounds (humming and singing). Further up in the forest, in one of the most mystical places in the park, stand the three wise women, Margareta, Catarina and Barbara, by Joseph Ginet. They give the place an aura of absolute peace, and make it even more mysterious.

This sculpture trail will be continuously expanded with sculptures and installations by artist friends and aims to show visitors the diversity of contemporary art. Moreover, any receptive visitor will return to their daily routine with questions, enriched by positive energies, great calm and inner peace.