Balloons Introduction

The Artist with balloonist Bertrand Piccard

by Bertrand Piccard

If the balloon is the first mechanism to have allowed man to fly, it is also the symbol of a different relationship between nature and himself. Driven by the wind, without motor or guide the pilot must learn to ignore his need for control and domination. Thus, flying in a balloon becomes a metaphor for life.

In effect, the visceral need of human beings to be in control of everything contributes greatly to the sufferings of existence. It is difficult to accept that life drives us away from where we would wish to go. Similarly, flying in a balloon obliges us to admit that our own willpower is a small thing compared to the blowing wind. A certain mastery is required, but only to control what is in our power to control, in fact, the freedom amounts only to changing flight levels in order to find other wind directions. It is the same in life, where free will consist in changing attitude in order to raise ourselves psychologically and philosophically, enabling us, to the best of our abilities and drawing on our inner resources, to adapt to the unforeseen contingencies of life.

What then could be more natural than that the balloon also be of inspiration to artists and high level ones - in their quest for creative symbols.

Letizia Pitigliani may all your winds be fair.