“Heartbeat” by Charles Pétillon

Charles Pétillon, a French artist, has always been known for photographing balloons in different places and positions. Though his pieces typically sit in lifeless clusters, on August 27 he brought his work to life in London’s Convent Garden Market Building, creating a massive piece called “Heartbeat.”

When looking at the juxtaposition of this modern piece resting in the Market Building, a 19th century monument, it almost seems surreal: a giant cloud, created with 100,000 balloons, floating from the ceiling. “This space is huge. There were 300 kg of balloons—1000 cubic meters,” said the artist in a CNN interview, “We needed 20 people to inflate them over five days, and [it took] four nights to hang them. There are many underneath that you can’t see.”

A very common question answered by Pétillon regarded the name of the piece– ”Heartbeat.” During various interviews, he explained that the reason for his name was to represent a metaphor. In a CNN interview, Pétillon shared his desire to represent the Market Building, a central location in London, as “the beating heart of this area.” His intention was to remind the public of that and to create a link between the past and the present of the space, as well as to create a physical manifestation of the life contained in the space. He concluded, “Creating a huge heart was the best way to show that.”

“Heartbeat” is showing in the London Covent Garden Market from August 27 to September 27, and is truly a sight to see.

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