Review: Charles Pétillon’s Heartbeat Balloon Art Installation At Covent Garden

‘I really want an Aero’ was my first thought as I looked at the 100,000 white balloons floating around Covent Garden Market’s ceiling.

Charles Pétillon’s Heartbeat Balloon Art Installation At Covent Garden Day Shot

Other than feeling peckish and wondering where the nearest newsagent was, I also felt a tremendous sense of calm watching ‘Heartbeat’ in action.

The rhythm of the light matches my own heartbeat as I watch it glow.

From the Apple Market Stalls View. For the full effect, visit at night.

Gently pulsating a light from within, French artist has created a living object amongst the shoppers and tourists shuffling around Covent Garden Market.

Charles Pétillon’s Heartbeat Balloon Art Installation At Covent Garden At Night

My first impression behind the meaning of Heartbeat were clouds and lightning preparing to strike. But the use of white balloons suggests something happier than a dark storm cloud brewing, which would have been better portrayed using grey or black balloons.

A close up of the individual white balloons glowing

Red balloons could have symbolised a heart, but maybe white balloons are used for a heart that is pure.

Charles Pétillon has suggested the white balloons represent the history of the market, area and London life – both past and present. The glowing white balloons personify something we don’t take much notice of, much like Martin Creed’s Work. 200 Half The Air In A Given Space where air is given life.

I think Heartbeat’s trick is lowering the heartbeats of passers-by as they stop to take photos and post on Instagram. Covent Garden have a habit of doing this with their giant reindeer and Christmas decorations.

As well as taking photos of Heartbeat, I made my first cinemagraph. It’s very much work in progress, but I think it captures the rhythm of the pulsating light well.

All photos taken with the Nokia 1020.

What do you think the meaning behind Heartbeat is? Tell me in the comments section below!

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