Christo & Jeanne-Claude (Bulgarian/American, b. 1935) (French/American, 1935-2009) Packed Coast (Project for Little Bay, at Prince Henry Hospital, Sydney, Australia), 1969 pencil, fabric, thread, twine, wax crayon, charcoal and map collage signed Christo and dated 1969 in graphite, lower left 43 13/16" x 27 7/8"
Provenance: Acquired directly from the Artist, 1969 Thence by descent to present owner
Literature: Kaldor, John. Christo: Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, 1969, christojeanneclaude.net, 2019
Tolnay, Alexander, and David Bourdon, Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Early Works 1958-1969 (Taschen Specials), Taschen, 2001, p. 260, pl. 396
Other Notes: Wrapped Coast One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia 1968-1969
Little Bay, property of Prince Henry Hospital, is located 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) southeast of the center of Sydney, Australia. The cliff-lined South Pacific Ocean shore area that was wrapped is approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) long, 150 to 800 feet (46 to 244 meters) wide, 85 feet (26 meters) high at the northern cliffs and was at sea level at the southern sandy beach.
One million square feet (92,900 square meters) of erosion-control fabric (synthetic woven fiber usually manufactured for agricultural purposes) were used for the wrapping. 35 miles (56.3 kilometers) of polypropylene rope, 0.6 inches (1.5 centimeters) in 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.
Major Ninian Melville, retired from Australia's Army Corps of Engineers, was in charge of the climbers and workers at the site. 17,000 labor hours, over a period of four weeks, were expended by 15 professional mountain climbers, 110 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 climbers and workers were paid, with the exception of 11 architecture students who refused payment.
The project was financed entirely by Christo and Jeanne-Claude through the sale of their original preparatory drawings, collages, scale models, early Packages and Wrapped Objects of the 1950s and 1960s and lithographs. The artists have never accepted sponsorships of any kind.
The coast remained wrapped for a period of 10 weeks starting on October 28, 1969. Then all materials were removed and recycled and the site was returned to its original condition.