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Christo's the London Mastaba

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor of BITE

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The London Mastaba Ph. Wolgang Volz
The London Mastaba Ph. Wolgang Volz

Chances are if you’ve ever wandered around London, you have at some point thought about popping into a museum. Whether it’s the Natural History, the V&A or the Science, London’s museums are both varied and brilliant. And, of course, a large majority of them are free for all to enter.

This sentiment is echoed by the artist Christo in his latest and first every large-scale installation in the UK, The London Mastaba. As a partnership which spanned almost 50 years, Christo and his late wife and creative partner Jeanne-Claude’s wish was to make and keep art free.

Mastaba is the Arabic word for bench, a structure Christo and Jeanne-Claude became fascinated by over the course of their career. Standing at 20-metres high, the sculpture floats on the surface of London’s Serpentine in Hyde Park and is made from over 7,000 painted barrels which have been fixed to scaffolding and anchored in the lake. The pink, red, mauve and blue colour scheme was chosen specifically by the artist to interact with the green of the park and the ever-changing London sky.

The floating sculpture, which occupies 1% of the lake’s surface, comes as the Serpentine Galleries host a summer exhibition of the pair’s work, although the structure was built independently from galleries, patrons or government grants. The money was raised through selling original pieces of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s art.

The London Mastaba will float on the lake until 23rd September 2018, while the free exhibition runs until 9th September.

Visit Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s website to find out more.

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