Packed Coast, Project for Australia, near Sydney
Bulgaria, United States of America
13 Jun 1935 - 31 May 2020
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia 1968-69
Coordinator: John Kaldor
Little Bay, property of Prince Henry Hospital, is located 14.5 kilometres, southeast of the centre of Sydney.
The South Pacific Ocean cliff-lined shore area that was wrapped is approximately 2.5 kilometres long, 46 to 244 metres wide, 26 metres high at the northern cliffs, and was at sea level at the southern sandy beach.
90,000 square metres (1 million square feet) of erosion-control fabric (synthetic woven fibre usually manufactured for agricultural purposes) were used for the wrapping. 56.3 kilometres of polypropylene rope, 1.5 centimetre diameter, tied the fabric to the rocks. Ramset guns fired 25,000 charges of fasteners, threaded studs and clips to secure the rope to the rocks.
Ninian Melville, a retired major in the Army Corps of Engineers, was in charge of the workers at the site.
17,000 manpower hours, over a period of four weeks, were expended by 15 professional mountain climbers, and over 100 workers: architecture and art students from the University of Sydney and East Sydney Technical College, as well as a number of Australian artists and teachers. All workers were paid, with the exception of 11 architecture students who refused.
The project was financed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude through the sale of Christo's original preparatory drawings, collages, scale models, early packages and wrapped objects of the 1950s and 1960s and lithographs.
The coast remained wrapped for a period of ten weeks from 28 October 1969. Then all materials were removed and recycled and the site was returned to its original condition.
Packed Coast, Little Bay, Australia
Wrapped Coast, Little Bay, Australia
gelatin silver photograph, colour offset print, tape, cloth, cotton thread, staples, charcoal, pencil, Perspex box
72.0 x 56.7 x 4.5 cm Perspex box
Signature & date
Signed and dated centre left, pencil "Christo 1969".
Not on display
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Jan 1990–11 Mar 1990
Christo. John Kaldor Art Project, 1990:
Ideas and Actions: Performance, Process and Documentation, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 29 Oct 1999–23 Jan 2000
John Kaldor Family Collection Artist Rooms #1 - Christo:
- Gosford Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gosford 01 Feb 2013–01 Apr 2013
- Glasshouse Regional Gallery, New South Wales 04 Jul 2013–25 Aug 2013
- Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Booragul 13 Sep 2013–01 Dec 2013
- Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre & Liverpool Regional Museum, Casula 09 Dec 2013–26 Jan 2014
Making art public: 50 years of Kaldor Public Art Projects, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Sep 2019–16 Feb 2020
Referenced in 3 publications
Nicholas Baume (Editor), Christo. John Kaldor Art Project, 1990, Sydney, 1990, 132 (colour illus.). cat.no. 75
Charles Green, The third hand: collaboration in art from conceptualism to postmodernism, 'Negotiated Identity: Christo and Jeanne-Claude', pg.125-137, Minneapolis, 2001, 127, 128, 130, 131, 135, 142, 154, 182.
Kay Vernon, Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Sydney, 1990. cat.no. 108