Street Art, Sursee Style 

 

The figures in the pictures were commissioned by businesses in the town of Sursee in Central Switzerland as a way of drawing attention to all that the area has to offer. Looking rather like overgrown Subbuteo figures, the life-size statues were positioned strategically in the town streets where they could hardly be missed by townspeople and visitors alike. Some of the 222 creations were naturalistic, while others were fantastical – maybe it depended on the taste of the 196 sponsors, for each one of the unique creations was really advertising for its parent company. There was also a competition for the best figure –you can choose your favourite from our photos.

Whether or not it worked in raising the profile of Sursee, we don’t know; nor do we know what happened to the mannequins after the campaign was over. One thing is sure: if you walk around the town now you won’t see any evidence of Sursee’s experiment in street art.

In case you have still never heard of Sursee, its name comes from the River Sure and the German word ‘See’ meaning ‘lake’, after Lake Sempach, where the town is situated: Sursee grew up where the river exits the lake. It is a town of 8,700 people (2008), and like a lot of Switzerland it is peaceful and clean and tidy, but maybe with not that much going on – perhaps the street art experiment was its one shot at being more famous? And it worked to an extent, if you are still reading this……
Figures in Sursee, Switzerland Couple lying foot to foot Art in Sursee, Switzerland  Rider with all round vision
Figure Punk Sursee, Sculptures Exhibition Sculpture puzzle in four parts Statue of man in Swiss T-shirt
street figure with curtain pole Blue man with red funnel in his head Blue man squatting in the road  Figures in Sursee 
Wooden Figure, Sursee Life size wooden street figure  Goat and man hatching out  Figure with Book, 1984
Red figure with garden materials Woman in red, yellow and blue Street sculpture seen to bleed Black Forest Cake Figure 
Huge knife and fork on wheels allows figure to spin Female figure with blue fish scales Swiss street art’s human figure Model of man with wings and sun glasses 
Figure, yellow black A street mannequin dressed in childlike bottle pattern  Man in overalls with one leg a shock absorber  A woman in big sun hat and long, flowery dress 
Figure man Knight guards the lobby with sword ready People looking at sculpture A pair of molecule men
Golden sand for bronzed woman Man’s head bound with sticky tape A clown with over sized clothes Female figure wears trousers and socks
Robot like figure made of mobile phones A pink man with steering wheel Chef offering patisserie to passers by Leaves meet drawers in aid of art
Man in soiled overalls Naturalistic figure of a man in dungarees A romantic gesture with a red rose Street Figure in Sursee, Switzerland
Realistic, yet surrealistic, figure A man in a wooden cage A figure as tall as the sunshade Figures Exhibition Sursee
TV head and red shoes Humanoid’s chest contains human images Girl trapped by giant combs Builder made of bricks lays blocks
Street figure made out of mosaic pieces Triple figure in a hoop Metro map Man He’ll carry your shopping