Dezeen Magazine

Charles Pétillon fills abandoned spaces with white balloons

White balloons spill out the windows and doors of a house, invade a golf course and overflow from a burnt-out car in a series of installations by French artist Charles Pétillon (+ slideshow).

In his Invasions series, Paris-based photographer and installation artist Pétillon aims to use balloons to alter the way people perceive familiar things and spaces.

Invasions by Charles Pétillon
Land Art

"These balloon invasions are metaphors," said the artist. "Their goal is to change the way in which we see the things we live alongside each day without really noticing them."

"It is our way of looking at things that I am trying to transform and revive, and therefore make it possible to go beyond practical perception to aesthetic experience: a visual emotion," he added.

Invasions by Charles Pétillon
Souvenirs de Famille

Pétillon fills spaces from public play areas to buildings with bunches of different-sized white balloons.

To create the effects, Pétillon and his team inflated and tied together the balloons in a warehouse. They were then transported to the chosen locations and hung on aluminium structures.

Invasions by Charles Pétillon
Play Station 1

The installations have been photographed empty of people, with the balloons becoming the ghostly occupants of the spaces.

Invasions by Charles Pétillon
Play Station 2

Pétillon chose white balloons to create a contrast with the locations. "The whiteness straightens the dualism, the contrast and absurdity versus the materials of the location," he told Dezeen. "The conjunction of balloons' abstracts shapes and environment's one, allows me to create improbable, poetical objects."

Invasions by Charles Pétillon

In the piece titled Play Station 1, the balloons inhabit a piece of children's playground equipment, spilling down the slide and ladder, while in Play Station 2, the inflated spheres cluster around the basketball hoop on a court.

Invasions by Charles Pétillon

For Land Art, the balloons are bunched together on the putting green of a golf course, while a few strays seem to be rolling towards the hole.

At another installation, an indoor swimming pool shaped like a spaceship appears to have been stuffed with white balloons that spill outside.

Invasions by Charles Pétillon

Meanwhile in Souvenirs de Famille (Family Memories), balloons burst out of the doors and windows of a brick house. "The profound memories of childhood, games and naivety are conjured up in Souvenirs de Famille," said Pétillon.

Invasions by Charles Pétillon
Mutations 2

Balloons also occupy a garage in CO2 and an abandoned car in Folklore. Pétillon describes them as "metaphors for the excess of the individual in collective daily life, mirroring the scars it has left on the world".

Invasions by Charles Pétillon
Igloo 1

In Mutations 2, a bunch is suspended between two trees in a forest. Balloons tied into a spherical stand on grass in Igloo 1, while for Mimetisme (Mimicry) they bob on a lake like buoys in a row.

Invasions by Charles Pétillon

Pétillon specialises in creating installations and sets for his own still life fashion shoots as well as larger artworks. An exhibition of photographs capturing the Invasions series will be on show at La Maison de la Photographie in Lille, France, from 20 February to 22 March.