Christo has created a temporary sculpture in Hyde Park, London, titled The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, 2016-18. It will float on the Serpentine Lake from June 18 to September 23, 2018. This is Christo’s first major public, outdoor work in the UK. The temporary sculpture coincides with an exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries of Christo and Jeanne-Claude‘s work (June 19 to September 9, 2018), which includes sculptures, drawings, collages and photographs spanning more than 60 years. The sculpture and the exhibition both draw on Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s history of using barrels to create works of art.
Since the late 1960s, Christo has sought a suitable site for a floating Mastaba. The temporary sculpture in Hyde Park consists of 7,506 horizontally stacked barrels on a floating platform in the Serpentine Lake. It is 20 meters (65.5 ft) high x 30 meters (90 ft) wide (at the 60° slanted walls) x 40 meters (130 ft) long. The standard 55 gallon barrels, 59 x 88 cm (2 ft x 3 ft), have been specifically fabricated and painted for this sculpture. The sides of the barrels, visible on the top and on the two slanted walls of the sculpture, are painted red and white. The ends of the barrels, visible on the two vertical walls, are different hues of red, blue, and mauve.
The sculpture’s floating platform is being made of high-density polyethylene cubes anchored to the lakebed with weighted anchors. A primary steel scaffolding frame was constructed on top of the platform and the barrels are attached to a scaffold sub structure. The total weight is 600 metric tons (660 US tons). The footprint of the sculpture takes up approximately 1% of the total surface area of the lake.
As with all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects, The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, 2016-18 is being funded entirely through the sale of Christo’s original works of art. No public money is used for Christo’s projects and he does not accept sponsorship.