100,000 Balloons Will Invade Covent Garden Market This Month

Rendering of Charles Pétillon's Heartbeat.
Photo: via Coventgardenlondonuk.com

Artist Charles Pétillon plans to fill London’s Covent Garden Market Building with 100,000 white balloons this month. It will be his first public sculpture outside France and his largest sculpture to date.

Pétillon has been stuffing architectural and industrial spaces as well as social and natural landscapes with white balloons and capturing the sites, devoid of human life, in his photographic series titled Invasion.

For his London installation, titled Heartbeat, the artist will tie together 100,000 latex balloons embedded with strands of light, which will pulsate within the structure and emulate a person’s heartbeat, according to the Guardian.

The artist believes balloons are the “universal symbol of joy” and that they bring an element of surprise to mundane scenes.

“I want to change people’s point of view, their perspective of a place they see every day and never really look at,” Pétillon told the Guardian. “A swimming pool, a field: if I suddenly put something strange in it like these balloons you will see it differently. I don’t want my works to be seen just as decoration.”

Pétillon’s contribution is part of Covent Garden’s annual cultural program, which has commissioned other notable artists in the past such as Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst to take over the Piazza.

A pop-up exhibition of his Invasion photographs will be erected to accompany the 180-foot sculpture.

Charles Pétillon, Co2. Photo: via Charlespetillon.com.

Charles Pétillon, Co2.
Photo: via Charlespetillon.com.

Charles Pétillon, Souvenirs de famille. Photo: via Charlespetillon.com.

Charles Pétillon, Souvenirs de famille.
Photo: via Charlespetillon.com.

Charles Pétillon, Mutation 2. Photo: via Charlespetillon.com.

Charles Pétillon, Mutation 2.
Photo: via Charlespetillon.com.

Charles Pétillon, Invasions. Photo: via Charlespetillon.com.

Charles Pétillon, Invasions.
Photo: via Charlespetillon.com.

The sculpture is on view at Covent Garden from August 27 to September 27, 2015.


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