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Label: covent garden

Wednesday 02nd September 2015Public Art Series: Covent Garden

All too much of the world's beautiful artwork is hidden behind a gallery door. While some of these masterpieces must be shielded from the elements, in our reverence we often ignore the works that appear right in front of us in daily life: public art. Breaking down the barrier walls to the inner sanctum of aestheticism, the public art installation is art at its best - art that reaches as many people as possible. To celebrate that role, we're going to be starting a new series dedicated to examining the world's most beautiful and influential public art pieces, both permanent and ephemeral.

In a world where Photoshop can easily alter what appears to be incontrovertible evidence, Charles Petillon has a bit of a problem. His installations are so grandiose that he must constantly work to convince his audience that his photographs are not altered digitally in any way (aside, presumably, from the exposure adjustments that almost every good photographer applies). His typical style, at the moment, involves typically mundane settings transformed into eerie spectacles - using only balloons.

“I want to change people’s point of view, their perspective of a place they see every day and never really look at. 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, there is always something they are trying to draw out or question.”

To that end, his next project involves the world-famous Covent Garden, which he'll be filling with over 100,000 glowing white balloons. Titled Heartbeat, the balloons will pulse semi-regularly with flashes of light that propagate through the entire mass like waves, creating an impressive effect. This is also a first for Petillon, who typically photographs his installations and exhibits the photos, without making the installations themselves available to the public view.

Petillon was a bit nervous about the project from the beginning, saying, “I have never done anything on this scale so it has been quite daunting. Because it is such a historic place, we had to be very careful – I wouldn’t want to be the French man who made Covent Garden fall down.”

Hopefully, he will succeed in his goal of having visitors see the old building in a completely new light. The exhibit runs from August 27 to September 27, so be sure to pop by for a visit if you're in the neighbourhood!
 

Posted on September 02nd 2015 on 05:49pm
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