This month, Covent Garden’s historic market hall has been transformed by a sea of balloons. As part of French artist Charles Pétillon’s first public art installation, 100,000 white balloons have been suspended from the roof in the Grade II-listed, 19th century South Hall. The installation, entitled ‘Heartbeat’, stretches 54 metres by 12 metres and features pulsating lights within the balloons to symbolise beating hearts. This pulsating light is meant to reflect the ‘history, energy and dynamism’ of the iconic area of Covent Garden.
Speaking about the installation, Pétillon told the Covent Garden website: ‘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 wanted 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.
‘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.’
- Heartbeat runs in Covent Garden Market until 27 September 2015. Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, WC2E 8RD. Nearest station: Covent Garden. For more information, visit the Covent Garden website.