“Our Heidi” is all grown up A cookbook, a work of art and a cult object
A slightly different sponsorship project
Swiss art? Swiss cult? Or on the contrary: Straight from the heart? The “Heidi & Friends” book project by the artist Piroska Szönye reflects her personal journey through time and her boundless, joyful energy, and is a loving tribute to Switzerland, all at the same time. This project came about as part of a slightly different sponsorship idea that wasn’t just about money but was also an investment of time and friendship: Over 100 people helped put together each copy of the book by hand, making each of them a totally unique original. Victorinox was immediately taken by the concept proposed by the native of Graubünden and became the main sponsor.
Victorinox, Heidi and the “Swissness Feeling”...
What motivated us to work with Piroska Szönye on her project was her feel for iconic design and her focus on details, the commitment to enjoying everyday things, the visible passion for developing and executing ideas and, last but not least, the fascination of exploring new horizons. „“We have been friends for a long time,” our Head of Global Brand Veronika Elsener tells us, explaining the background. „“We are close on a personal level and this project embraces values that we also aspire to with our brand: Swissness in the sense of being anchored in and deeply committed to the local community, sustainability, the blend of traditional and modern, as well as multifunctionality.”
Above all, it is about creating things that have an emotional relevance beyond their simple utility, objects with lasting intrinsic value that find their rightful place in the order of things.
An image of Swissness and a piece of heaven
In an artistic sense, Piroska Szönye has adopted the role played by the world-renowned character from the fiction of Johanna Spyri, but she has allowed Heidi to grow up and has imbued the story with the spirit of our times. But instead of Peter and his goats, she has collaborated and worked in the kitchen with Swiss celebrity chefs. The result is a cookbook that is remarkable by any stretch of the imagination, with a rich array of lovingly arranged gems, engaging philosophical musings, childhood memories, short stories, recipes and other bits and pieces, all sparkling with a unique poetry.
The photographs, collages, graphic elements and texts are not self-contained, but are meant to encourage the reader to pause and reflect, so they themselves can collect and create and spend more time with family and friends, seeking out the source of true happiness. The book is for reading and then putting to practical use. “Put even more stuff in there” is the express wish of the book’s creator.
Boring Swiss food and celebrity chefs at work
This quirky “Cooking-Art-Philosophy-Poetry book” more or less took shape from a travel diary; among other things, you can find flower seeds from Thun, toothpicks, packets of sugar and the grandiose graphical presentation of “Boring Swiss Food,” as well as cheese, butter, bread and meat recipes printed on wrapping paper for cheese, butter, bread and meat. Some of the handwritten originals belong to Swiss celebrity chefs such as Andreas Caminada (Schauenstein Castle), Stefan Heilemann (Atlantis in Zürich) or Sigi Tschurtschenthaler (Adler in Fläsch), from the young holistic chef Rebecca Clopath, the food blogger Nadia Damaso and even from the Swiss Army. „“Cooking is also a philosophy, an art form and poetry. Our book is meant to reflect each of these elements; indeed, they are the book,” says Piroska Szönye.
We would like to recommend “Heidi & Friends” with heartfelt warmth and we can’t wait to see what she will be doing next. In fact: Piroska Szönye is already making new plans, and you can find further information about them, and about her book, at www.heidiandtheswissnessfeeling.ch.
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