Charles Pétillon's photographs combine giant balloons and concrete architecture
Sunbrella presents Connexions by Charles Petillion

Charles Pétillon's photographs combine giant balloons and concrete architecture

Huge fabric balloons invade concrete buildings and barren landscapes in this series of images by French artist Charles Pétillon.

Pétillon, who often works with balloons, produced the images to showcase an installation he created for Italian textiles brand Sunbrella during Milan design week.

Sunbrella presents Connexions by Charles Petillion

The artist took 10 spherical balloons, in a variety of sizes, and wrapped them in different fabrics. The fabric covers zip together, allowing the balloons to be combined into a large and unusual cluster.

This four-metre-high composition was then artificially inserted into Pétillon's photographs, which depict a range of deserted environments that include both buildings and landscapes.

Sunbrella presents Connexions by Charles Petillion

In one image, the balloons hang over one of the balconies of a residential slab block, while another shows them tumbling down a bare hillside. There is also one that shows them emerging from a graffiti-covered kiosk.

"I wanted to create a contrast with the materials," Pétillon told Dezeen. "You see the concrete is very strong, and you feel frightened for the installation."

Sunbrella presents Connexions by Charles Petillion

The artist presented both the installation and the images at Super Studio Design during Milan design week.

He calls the project Connexions – as the aim was to create a link between his artwork and reality.

"When I show my pictures in exhibitions, people always ask me: 'Is it true?'" he said. "I wanted to show the process and share it with people. It's real, it's alive, and I wanted people to experience it."

Sunbrella presents Connexions by Charles Petillion

Pétillon is based in Paris. His past experiments with inflatables include filling Covent Garden market in London with 100,000 white balloons, and a similar project in spaces including a golf course and a suburban house.

While these projects were very site-specific, the Connexions project was envisioned to be recreated anywhere in the world. Using a software plugin for Street View, visitors to Sunbrella's website can superimpose the balloons into any accessible location, then share the results via social media.

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Sunbrella presents Connexions by Charles Petillion
Sunbrella presents Connexions by Charles Petillion
Sunbrella presents Connexions by Charles Petillion