CHARLES PETILLON’S BALLOONS
By Elizabeth Patterson
If you’re doing a double take looking at these images, then Charles Pétillon has done his job. The French artist, who is perhaps best known for his work with white balloons, continues his series in the hopes of getting viewers to inspect their surroundings more closely. Previous locations have all been in France and have included abandoned houses and cars. He’s now taking his work to London with a new installation.
Pétillon has been working in different mediums for several years. His “Invasions” series consists of the installation of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of white balloons. The title “invasions” refers to the placement of the balloons – he has stated that he wants to encourage guests to examine spaces they pass by everyday or take for granted more closely. Structures like abandoned houses, playgrounds, basketball courts and old cars have all been home to Pétillon’s intrusive displays. To create these pieces, the balloons are blown and assembled in their designated shape in a warehouse, then transported to their final location, where they are secured on aluminum. Their white color was chosen for the stark and un-missable contrast created when they are in their landscapes.
August 27th will see the debut of Pétillon’s first public art installation, Heartbeat. The installation will take place in London’s Covent Garden and will feature 100,000 white balloons. He stated that the location was vital in his initial planning of the artwork, and the title reflects its importance, with Covent Garden as the heart of London life. Displayed in the South Hall of the Grade II Market building, Heartbeat will be on view until September 27, 2015.