Get Lost in the Pastel Clouds Over Central London
Ever since the colourful scenes in Up, I’ve always dreamt about a million balloons hovering over my house and taking me to places that are far away and magical. So imagine my momentary daze upon stepping into the wonderland that is Covent Garden Market Place, transformed by the latest art installation at the heart of London.
The installation, quite fittingly named Heartbeat, consists of 100,000 white balloons that fills the Market Building and is brought to London by French artist Charles Pétillon. It forms a part of London Design Festival. The full scale of the cloud-like beauty is rather sizeable as it stretches over 54 metres in length and is 12 metres wide. If you are able to pull yourself away from the awe-inspiring full scene and examine the giant fluffiness closely, you will find that each balloon is of individual size and this forms, among other details, the true meaning that lies behind the Heartbeat.
The artist elaborates: “Each balloon has its own dimensions and yet is part of a giant but fragile composition that creates a floating cloud above the energy of the market below. This fragility is represented by contrasting materials and also the whiteness of the balloons that move and pulse appearing as alive and vibrant as the area itself.” And like a heart that is beating as well, strongly and consistently.
Even though all the balloons are white, the installation itself is not simply a mono-coloured mass. With the glass ceiling over the Market Place Covent Garden letting through the ever-changing light of the London sky, Heartbeat can transform from the prettiest pastel pink in the morning to an electric dusty blue at dusk. According to the onlookers, it showcases the space in a complete new light and creates a lively atmosphere, not to mention the child-like joyous energy it has somehow injected to everyone enjoying its presence.
This is not Charles’ first space domination using white balloons, he is known for his invasions – cleverly and passionately placing white balloon bundles in a wide array of contrasting surroundings to create beautiful and powerful art scenes. For more on the artist and his previous works please visit his website at http://www.charlespetillon.com. Heartbeat will run until 27 September and London Design Festival this year will take place between 19 – 27 September (http://www.londondesignfestival.com).
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