Happy anniversary Surrounding Islands

Revisiting a blog post from 2013

· Musings

In 1980 -83, Christo and Jeanne-Claude Official realized this temporary work of art in the greater Miami, Florida area.

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Check out the amazing photos, sketches and images of this event.

On May 7, 1983, the installation of Surrounded Islands was completed in Biscayne Bay, between the city of Miami, North Miami, the Village of Miami Shores and Miami Beach.

Eleven of the islands situated in the area of Bakers Haulover Cut, Broad Causeway, 79th Street Causeway, Julia Tuttle Causeway, and Venetian Causeway were surrounded with 603,870 square meters (6.5 million square feet) of floating pink woven polypropylene fabric covering the surface of the water and extending out 61 meters (200 feet) from each island into the bay. The fabric was sewn into 79 patterns to follow the contours of the eleven islands.

For two weeks, Surrounded Islands, spreading over 11.3 kilometers (7 miles), was seen, approached and enjoyed by the public, from the causeways, the land, the water and the air. The luminous pink color of the shiny fabric was in harmony with the tropical vegetation of the uninhabited verdant islands, the light of the Miami sky and the colors of the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay.

As with Christo and Jeanne-Claude's previous art projects, Surrounded Islands was entirely financed by the artists, through the sale of preparatory drawings, collages, and early works. The artists did not accept sponsorship of any kind.

On May 4, 1983, out of a total work force of 430, the unfurling crew began to blossom the pink fabric. Surrounded Islands was tended day and night by 120 monitors in inflatable boats.

Surrounded Islands was a work of art underlining the various elements and ways in which the people of Miami live, between land and water.

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