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  • Charles Pétillion’s “Heartbeat” installation at Covent Garden, London

  • Charles Pétillion’s “Heartbeat” installation at Covent Garden, London

  • Charles Pétillion’s “Heartbeat” installation at Covent Garden, London

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Charles Pétillion’s “Heartbeat” installation at Covent Garden, London

In celebration of the upcoming London Design Festival (September 19-27, 2015), French artist and photographer Charles Pétillion has taken over Covent Garden’s market building with an amazing, large-scale cloud installation, titled “Heartbeat”. The public installation is made of 100,000 white balloons that are illuminated with the help of a gentle pulsating light that is place on the inside, symbolizing the beating heart and contagious energy of the famous district.

Heartbeat, which is placed in the South Hall ceiling of the Grade II Market Building, is Pétillion’s largest installations to date, and his first ever outside of France, stretching 54 meters in length and 12 meters in width. Heartbeat forms part of “Invasions”, Pétillion’s series of balloon installations filling abandoned houses, forests, cars and basketball courts. Invasions talk about nostalgia, decay, memories, ambitions and everyday fears, challenging the viewer’s perception of space and time.

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,” explains the artist.

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,” he continues.

Heartbeat will remain on view until September 27, 2015, at Covent Garden, London. Coinciding with the installation, a pop-up gallery on the Piazza at Unit 5, Royal Opera House Arcade, will exhibit photographs from Pétillion’s Invasions series, alongside a selection of his other work.