U.S. artist to construct giant balloon sculpture in Edinburgh

Filed under: Tourism — Posted by: Mark Smith on March 27, 2013

An artist from America is set to construct a huge sculpture using balloons as part of the 2013 Edinburgh International Science Festival.

This week will see Jason Hackenwerth, a 43-year-old New York-based artist, putting together a sculpture called ‘Pisces’. Expected to be around 43 feet high, Pisces will dominate the National Museum of Scotland’s Grand Gallery until mid-April this year.

Festival organisers commissioned the work from Hackenwerth, and the sculpture will be constructed in full view of the public before its official exhibition.

Taking inspiration from the star sign Pisces, the sculpture’s balloons are to be suspended from the Grand Gallery’s high ceiling.

Hackenwerth, originally from Missouri, said:

“It will descend from high above and as it coils down it expands like a giant sea shell and opens up so you can see inside.

“Balloons are accessible. When people realise this massive form is made of thousands of balloons, there is some awe. It takes people back to their childhood.

“Any audience – children, old people – can see the joy and wonder in the balloons. To use them in a more sophisticated way, to transcend an individual child toy, is amazing.”

As Hackenwerth has pointed out, the balloon – in its many forms – does have a variety of uses today besides serving as a popular party decoration. Typical uses include in meteorological surveys and hot air balloon flights.

The artist has predicted that around 14,000 individual balloons will be required to complete the sculpture.

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