Last month we were invited by England’s newest university, The University of Suffolk in Ipswich, to help them with the opening of their renovated Atrium Space by creating an installation of balloon art to fill the void under the impressive sky lights.
The area has a strong geometric feel to the design with several rectangular shapes in the university colour scheme of black, white, grey and yellow. The area demanded a strong design and immediately we felt that using perfectly special balloons in differing sizes and on several levels would work best.
As a professional balloon company, we use the leading brand of balloons, Qualatex, in most of our work and this job was to be no exception. Qualatex produce a selection of round balloons from 3′ to 8′ wide in a rainbow of colours – perfect for what we needed. The only problem was to be the grey balloons. These were only available up to the size of 11″, far too small for what we were looking for, however, we were able to use a technique called ‘double stuffing’ to achieve our goal. This is a technique we often use for client who have a particular colour that isn’t available in balloons, where we place one coloured balloon inside a different coloured balloon and, when inflated, a new colour is achieved. We had never done this with giant balloons, but the technique worked perfectly.
To save costs and ensure that the knots were not visible from the ground, we chose to air fill the balloons and suspend them on mono filament line. The area had two balconies which offered the perfect place from which to suspend the balloons. So early on the morning of the grand opening, before the students had surfaced, we arrived with a hand full of balloons and line and started to transform the area.
The giant balloons were are inflated and sized at ground level while a series of lines were dropped from the balconies. Each balloon was raise to the desired height before a second line was used to move them into the correct position. Within a couple of hours the installation was completed, ready to wow the waking students as they arrived for studies.
The university was so impressed with our work that we have already started on designs for a similar installation for Christmas and possibility inspired them to have a permanent work installed.
If this has inspired you to have something similar, please contact us and we will be happy to come up with something unique for you too.