Saturday and Sunday February 27th/28th. Homage to Christo and Jeanne-Claude

I spent over three hours reading about the artists and designers Christo and Jeanne-Claude on Friday.  Their huge, temporary works in Berlin (Wrapping the Reichstag) and Sydney Australia (Wrapped Coast) amazed me with their scale (physical size, man/womanpower, preparation time), and their fascination to those who visited.  In Australia, one million square feet of erosion-control fabric was used for wrapping the coastal cliffs, 35 miles of polypropylene rope was used to tie the fabric to the rocks (plus studs and clips to further attach the rope).  The fabric moved and shimmered in the weather and time of day and would, I imagine, have looked like gigantic living creatures.  Only fabric could have caused such an effect.

I’m attaching a link to the page which describes their most ambitious project, a huge sculpture, The Mustaba, planned for a site in the desert outside Abu Dhabi.  The idea was conceived in 1977 and, although Jeanne-Claude died in 2007, Christo continues to work on realizing this enormous project.  It will have a cuboid shape, 150 metres high, and built from especially made and painted oil drums (an item used in their other projects, and not a specific reference to this geographical area).

During Friday evening I amused myself by making some beads from painted Tyvek wrapped around with gold thread.  (see photo here).   I cut the Tyvek in a trapezoid shape and wrapped each bead around a cuticle-pusher.  These are thicker than cocktail sticks, thus making larger channels which are easier to thread.  Each bead was zapped with a heat gun; this hardened them beneath the gold thread wrapping.  On Saturday I wondered what to do with them,  and realized I had created a little Mustaba shape with my Tyvek so I made a little collage.   The beads were arranged on painted Vilene to imply two birds, one resting, one flying upwards.  I hope the orange painted onto the Vilene represents the colour of the desert and the planned Mustaba.

Mustaba collage


3 thoughts on “Saturday and Sunday February 27th/28th. Homage to Christo and Jeanne-Claude

  1. You make a good point, Genie. I think perhaps I should make links to technical terms in future. Tyvek is a non-woven fabric that feels like paper (to me), used in the science and agricultural industries, but nowadays by textile artists who are interested in distorting fabric using heat. It bubbles up and makes interesting textures. Vilene is the interfacing you use in dress-making, to stiffen collars, etc. I’ve used a very heavyweight vilene. Thankyou for your positive comment about my sample.

    Liked by 1 person

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