Balloon Composition Experience
2016-November 5, 2017
Composition Series Installation at the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce and Centennial Park, Ybor in promotion of and at artLAB.
This series of compositions was originally intended to be used as part of the stage design of a musical selection I had written and produced. Due to complications with the venue and some of the performers the musical was never performed. So I was left with a lot of balloons, balloon display equipment and hours of balloon composition design research and planning.
So that the time and finances were not wasted I thought it could be utilized to add a fun and unique atmosphere to the Thornhill Foundation for the Arts upcoming event artLAB.
I presented the idea to Sarah Thornhill, the founder, and the rest of the board and the idea was very well received. I created a number of mock-up drawings and graphics to show Sarah, the board, and outside entities in hopes of receiving grant money.
As the event drew nearer the opportunity to promote the event at the Ybor Chamber of Commerce arose. So to give the chamber of commerce visitors a glimpse into the feel of the event I set up balloon compositions, painted live, and brought a small table with my TFA business cards in a card holder.
A few days before the final day of installation at artLAB I spent a few hours at the chamber of commerce creating intricate balloon clusters and blowing up some of the larger balloons to be stored there and retrieved the morning of the event.
The morning of the install at Centennial Park I had a number of volunteers help to realize the full vision of the experience. It was definitely a learning experience, and there are many area I found that could be improved in the execution of such an installation. Even still I really loved the final product and feel that the visitors loved it too.
At the end of the event I gave away balloons to some of the children and families that were still near or at the park and some of the homeless people that are typically found near the park. The remaining balloons were popped and saved to be used in a future art piece commemorating artLAB 2017.
My primary inspiration for the design and installation at artLAB was the artist Jihan Zencirli. Her work utilizes balloons to create large scale compositions somewhat similar to what I created.
I was also inspired by a lot of other balloon artwork and artists that I found across the web as well as things such as flowers, molecules, bacteria and coral reefs.
A Tampa local artist, Libbi Ponce, was a great consultant for Sarah and I. We spoke on the phone and had a few virtual exchanges in which she gave us a lot of tips on products to use, how much time should be allotted, how many people we might need, and some of the troubleshooting to expect.
(Click photos for full image)