Charles Pétillon is a French artist, who has just filled the 19th century Covent Garden market building of London with 100,000 giant white balloons. He called his creation “heartbeat”.
The work is Pétillon’s first ever public art installation. It was also his first live work outside his hometown. Pétillon explained the concept of “Heartbeat” by saying:
“The balloon invasions I create are metaphors. Their goal is to change the way in which we see the things we live alongside each day without really noticing them. With “heartbeat”, I want to represent the market building as the beating heart of this area – connecting its past with the present day to allow visitors to re-examine its role at the heart of London’s life.”
The entire market building was filled with a cloud made out of 100,000 white balloons
Unveiled ahead of London’s design festival, the balloons made their way through the south hall of the Grade II building. Stretching to a length of 54 meters, this installation incorporates gentle pulses of white light, designed to somehow reflect the energy, dynamism, and history of the district. Pétillon said:
‘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.’
The cloud of balloon stretch through the grade II listed market building
While “Heartbeat” is still featured until September 27, Pétillon’s other works and installations are also showcased in a nearby pop-up gallery. The project is a part of Covent Garden’s ongoing cultural program, which aims to turn the whole district into an open-air art gallery. November of last year, Alex Chinneck played with the architecture of the historic site.
“Heartbeat” stretches to a length of 54 meters
Its installed beneath the South Hall’s ceiling
The project uses pulsating white light to create a stunning effect
Pétillon’s work is made to reflect the dynamism, energy, and history of the district
Here is a video of Charles Pétillon explaining his design for ‘heartbeat’:
Here are other art installations to marvel at: