Christo will create a temporary sculpture in Hyde Park, London, titled The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake). It will float on the Serpentine Lake from June 18 (weather permitting) to September 23, 2018. This will be Christo’s first major public, outdoor work in the UK. The temporary sculpture will coincide with an exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries of Christo and Jeanne–Claude’s work (June 19 to September 9, 2018), which will include 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 will consist of 7,506 horizontally stacked barrels on a floating platform in Serpentine Lake. It will be 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), will be 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, will be painted red and white. The ends of the barrels, visible on the two vertical walls, will be different hues of red, blue, and mauve.
The sculpture’s floating platform will be made of high-density polyethylene cubes anchored to the lakebed with weighted anchors. A primary steel scaffolding frame is constructed on top of the platform and the barrels are attached to a scaffold sub structure. The total weight will be approximately 500 tons. The footprint of the sculpture will take up approximately 1% of the total surface area of the lake.
As with all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects, The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake) 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.