From June 18 to July 3, conceptual artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff is offering visitors to Italy's Lake Iseo the chance to experience the exhilaration and thrill of walking on water. The Floating Piers, a dream that first began in 1970, came to fruition earlier this month as Christo and his team constructed a temporary walkway of shimmering yellow fabric and high-density polyethylene cubes that stretches almost two miles across the lake.
The carefully selected location at the base of the Italian Alps allows for visitors to walk from the mainland town of Sulzano to the islands of Monte Isola and San Paolo. The specific materials and construction allows for the path to ebb and move in sync with the waves as it peaks just above the surface of the Lake, and “the light and water will transform the bright yellow fabric to shades of red and gold,” Christo says.
The 81-year-old Bulgarian artist is renowned for many other large-scale installations in Italy and around the world, which have been completed in collaboration with his wife, French artist Jeanne-Claude. The Gates, installed in New York’s Central Park in 2005, was their latest work together before Christo's wife passed in 2009. Similar to all previous projects, The Floating Piers is funded entirely through sales of original works of art including the manufacturing, installation, removal and recycling of the installation's components.
The work of art is meant to be both a physical experience and a spectacle to be viewed from afar, as the yellow offers a striking contrast against the serene blues of the lake. “The mountains surrounding the lake will offer a bird's-eye view of The Floating Piers, exposing unnoticed angles and altering perspectives,” Christo explains. “The water, the wind, the sun – all this is part of the project.”
Weather permitting, for sixteen days this summer The Floating Piers will be free and accessible from 6:00AM in the morning until midnight (entry onto the Piers ends at 10:00PM).
All images via Wolfgang Volz.