French artist Charles Pétillon, known for his temporary site-specific balloon installations that overtake cars, houses, basketball courts, and more, proves that there is no invasion more delightful than one of white balloons. Installed under the roof of London’s iconic Market Building in Covent Garden from August 27 to September 27, 2015, Heartbeat was a meandering cloudlike form created from an astonishing 100,000 balloons. Inside the cluster, a pulsing heartbeat of white light simulated the energy and flair of the historic shopping district. Measuring more than 177 feet long and 39 feet wide, the installation was Pétillon’s first public work. A pop-up gallery at the Royal Opera House Arcade accompanied the installation and featured photographs of his other “invasions.”

Megan Guerber is a freelance arts writer and American Craft‘s assistant editor.

Featured in Public Art Review #54.