Happy Clouds take to the sky over London's South Bank

By Adam Bambury | 25 February 2009
A horizontal round pink cloud with holes that form a smiling face

© Ellis Scott, 2009 Stuart Semple Industries

Little fluffy clouds, coloured pink and with smiling faces, drifting over the river. It sounds like the Beatles in one of their more experimental moods, but became a reality this morning (February 25 2009) when British artist Stuart Semple unveiled his latest public art spectacle on London’s South Bank.

The Happy Cloud instillation saw Semple using new technology to release 2057 of the titular clouds at seven-second intervals over the river Thames. Made from soap, helium and vegetable dye, the clouds were totally eco-friendly and lasted for 30 minutes.

A pink cloud floats up past a tower

© Ellis Scott, 2009 Stuart Semple Industries

Semple said: “I just wanted to make a piece of work that could cheer people up a bit. I’ve had enough of the doom and gloom in the air and I wanted to show something completely positive floating up in the sky.

“This was the most straightforward way I could think of to literally contribute something happy to the atmosphere. I am hoping it might put a smile on a few people’s faces as they go through their day.

“I know at times like this it’s easy to make creativity a low priority but I want to show on a very human level that an artistic idea might be able to do something important, even for a fleeting moment.”

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