I have long been intrigued by the artist Christo’s large scale environmental art installations, having first learned of them in art class in the mid-90s. Christo has been around much longer than that creating the Wrapped Coast in Sydney, Australia in the late 60s and the Running Fence along the California coast in the mid-70s. His projects generally involve lots of fabric draped or hung in some way, such as draping the Pont Neuf in Paris or the Reichstag in Berlin.
This time he has created a floating walkway on Lake Iseo northeast of Milan, Italy, the entire length of which – about 5 kilometers – is covered in a bright golden/orange fabric. Called the Floating Piers, it connects the town of Sulzano on the banks of the lake to the island of Monte Isola, with further walkways to and around a smaller island. About 3 kilometers of the walkway floats just above surface level on the lake, intending to give one the impression of walking on water.
We visited the installation on the evening of June 21 and again the following morning. Despite the transportation difficulties, the masses of people, the closure of the back stretch of walkway the night of the 21st, the heat and the unrelenting sun, we enjoyed the project.
In the early morning when the crowds are not so intense and the light just begins to hit the fabric the cloth shimmers as if it is an extension of the lake. This is the moment when I began to fully appreciate this work.
Here are some photos of our experience.
The evening of June 21, 2016
Morning of June 22